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DC Healthy Communities Collaborative Releases 2016 Community Health Needs Assessment

10 major health institutions joined efforts to establish DC's most urgent health and wellness needs; Four priority community needs emerged from report.

Washington, DC – The DC Healthy Communities Collaborative (DCHCC) released the 2016 Community Health Needs Assessment which lays out the state of health of DC residents and the most urgent community health needs to be addressed.

“The 2016 Community Health Needs Assessment exemplifies the importance of hospital and healthcare sectors embracing their role in supporting population and community health specifically as it relates to equity,” said Dr. LaQuandra Nesbitt, Director, Department of Health of the District of Columbia. “I applaud the DC Healthy Communities Collaborative on this important comprehensive effort that looks beyond disease centric and traditional ‘charity care ‘approaches. We look forward to working together to continue forging a path forward that creates a healthier and a more equitable District of Columbia.”

DCHCC is a unique collaboration among four DC hospitals (Children’s National Health System, Howard University Hospital, Providence Health System, and Sibley Memorial Hospital); four community health centers (Bread for the City, Community of Hope, Mary’s Center, and Unity Health Care); and two associations (DC Hospital Association and DC Primary Care Association).

After a year of intensive community engagement, data collection and analysis, the Collaborative identified four key factors as priority community needs for residents in the District of Columbia:

Mental Health/Behavioral Health: prevention and treatment of psychological, emotional, and relational issues to lead to higher quality of life.

Place-Based Care (Bring Care to Community): care options that are convenient and culturally sensitive.

Care Coordination: deliberate organization of patient care activities and information sharing protocols among all of the participants concerned with a patient’s care, to achieve safer and more effective care.

Health Literacy: the ability to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health decisions.

“By focusing on the social determinants of health and not on the clinical aspect as we did in the previous community health needs assessment, we were able to see the bigger picture and identify the interconnected health determinants affecting the District of Columbia,” said Angelica Journagin, DCHCC Chair.  “As health providers, we are challenged   by a community that struggles with staying healthy while trying to meet their pressing daily needs. This new assessment will contribute significantly to finding alternatives to improve health outcomes for DC residents.”

To complete the Community Health Needs Assessment, DCHCC engaged more than 300 community members, and conducted 39 individual interviews with leaders from 21 health care institutions, 12 administrators of local government agencies, and six members of the Council of the District of Columbia.  Additionally, DCHCC hosted five focus groups with staff from 60 different community-based organizations and social service agencies, and conducted two public town hall meetings that each drew about 80 participants. DC residents, community representatives, and health care providers completed 113 online surveys.

The next step for the Collaborative will be to work with its community stakeholders to implement an evidence-informed Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) in response to the four identified needs. DCHCC will then measure the impact of the proposed CHIP strategies with the goal of improving the health of the District of Columbia residents.

To download the report, click here, and for more information about the Community Health Needs Assessment, contact Angelica Journagin at [email protected] (English) or Lyda Vanegas at [email protected] (Spanish).

Contact: Emily Hartman at 202-476-4500

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