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COMMUNITY HEALTH NEEDS ASSESSMENT

All tax exempt, not-for-profit hospitals are required to conduct a community health needs assessment on a three-year cycle and make the results publicly available.

The Affordable Care Act of 2010 creates an opportunity for hospitals and public health agencies to accelerate community health improvement by conducting triennial community health needs assessments and adopting related implementation strategies that address significant health needs.

Building upon our shared community health needs assessment efforts of 2013 and 2016, Ridgeview Behavioral Health Services and Methodist Medical Center partnered once again to conduct a joint community health needs assessment for Anderson County. Although both organizations provide health care for multiple counties, Anderson County was selected for the assessment. Anderson County is where both institutions receive the majority of their patients and deploy the bulk of their community benefit resources.

By combining the expertise of Ridgeview Behavioral Health Services and Methodist Medical Center, the mental and physical dimensions of health have both been incorporated, offering a unique perspective in identifying the broader health needs of Anderson County.

ASSESSMENT PARTNERS

A collaborative team of community and health organizations came together to work on the 2019 Anderson County Needs Assessment. These included the following:

  1. Anderson County Health Department
  2. Free Medical Clinic of Oak Ridge
  3. Methodist Medical Center
  4. Ridgeview Behavioral Health Services

ASSESSMENT PROCESS

Data Collection and Review: The health of Anderson County was researched using a variety of qualitative and quantitative data.

  1. Ridgeview, Methodist Medical Center, Free Medical Clinic, and Anderson County Health Department were actively involved in collecting data using a survey for residents of Anderson County. Survey participants were asked for their perspectives on the health and quality of life in Anderson County. University of Tennessee – Social Work Office of Research and Public Service (UT-SWORPS) complemented the data collection by conducting on-line survey collection through phone calls, social media, and other targeted web-based efforts. Total number of surveys collected was over 300, representing the proportional demographics of the county and including at-risk populations.
  2. Two focus groups were conducted with 34 community leaders representing social services, education system, faith-based community, seniors, civic leadership, low-income, and uninsured, among others. One focus group met at Methodist Medical Center in Oak Ridge and the other met at the Anderson County Health Department in Clinton. Both focus groups were facilitated by UT-SWORPS.
  3. Health statistics were gathered from the Tennessee Department of Health, County Health Rankings, Kids Count, hospital discharge data, and the United States Census Bureau.
  4. Regional data collected by the Tennessee Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services was also reviewed with emphasis being placed on the survey results completed by consumers, advocates, and behavioral health providers in the region.
  5. A data synthesis team met on two separate occasions to review the data and determine top health priorities. The Data Team was formed consisting of 10 individuals representing both hospitals, the health department, the school system, Free Medical Clinic, and several community social service agencies. This group met to identify, discuss, and prioritize the findings from the assessment data sources.

PRIORITIES FOR 2019 – 2021

The data team selected the following nine health opportunities, which were then narrowed to the top five following extensive discussion (the top five indicated with italics). The top five will be the focus during the 2019-2021 assessment cycle:

Substance Abuse

Mental Health

Toxic Stress

Tobacco / Vaping

Lack of Physical activity / Obesity

Cancer

Dental

Heart disease

Poverty

 

Ridgeview and Methodist Medical Center will continue to collaborate on a final PDF printable report and the subsequent Implementation Plans, which are scheduled for release in the fall of 2019.

 

A SPECIAL THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR COMMUNITY PARTNERS WHO SERVED ON THE FOCUS GROUP AND/OR THE ASSESSMENT DATA TEAM:

PARTNER

FOCUS GROUP

DATA TEAM

Health Department

 Yes Yes

Oak Ridge Schools

 No

Yes

Ridgeview

Yes Yes

Methodist Medical Center

Yes Yes

Aid for Distressed Families of Appalachian Counties (ADFAC)

Yes

 No

Free Medical Clinic

Yes Yes

Allies for Substance Abuse Prevention

Yes Yes

First Baptist Clinton

Yes No

Anderson County Schools

 Yes No

Child Advocacy Center

Yes Yes

Anderson County Chamber

Yes No

YWCA

Yes No

Oak Ridge Police Department

Yes No

United Way of Anderson County

Yes No