In a recent Community Health Needs Assessment conducted by Sarah Bush Lincoln, the need for mental health providers and services and substance abuse were both noted as the number one priority.
The assessment detailed that the percentage of Medicare beneficiaries with poor mental health or substance abuse was 34 percent in our community. This is higher than the state at 31 percent and the United States at 33 percent.
The assessment also showed that the community is designated as a Health Professional Shortage Area (HPSA). This is defined as having a shortage of primary medical care, dental, or mental health care professionals. In Illinois, 77 percent of the people live in an HPSA, while 46 percent of the nation is living in a HPSA.
The Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) is conducted every three years and is a tool to understand the unique needs of the community being served by Sarah Bush Lincoln. The CHNA collects data from various sources and information from people representing the broad interest of the community. Throughout the assessment, health needs of the community have been identified and prioritized so that SBL can adopt an implementation strategy to address specific needs of the community.
SBL Planning Director Marsha Haldorsen explained that, “We partnered with a consulting firm on the report, which developed a priority matrix based on the results to help us determine areas of focus. As a result, priority areas that will be addressed through the Health Center’s implementation strategy for the next three years will be: lack of mental health providers/services, substance abuse, obesity, poor nutrition/limited access to healthy food options, lack of dentists/adult services, healthy behaviors/lifestyle choices, lack of access to services, physical inactivity, and heart disease.”
She added, “This assessment provides valuable information to Sarah Bush Lincoln and community resources. Our strategic plan is aligned with this information and reflects the social determinants of health that we identified last fall. We’ll use it over the years to help guide some of our strategies in order to improve the health of the community.”
The full report can be found at www.sarahbush.org. For more information, contact Marsha Haldorsen at 217 258-4169.