Improving the health of western Pennsylvanians and southwestern New York is not only in the best interest of our communities and the region, but also the mission of Allegheny Health Network. We are proud to be part of the communities we serve and are committed to making the lives of our patients, staff, and friends better through the work we do. To gain a better understanding of health needs across the communities we serve, Allegheny Health Network (AHN) undertook a system-wide Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) in 2018.
The 2018 CHNA builds upon our hospitals’ previous CHNAs conducted in 2013 and 2015 and provides a comprehensive guide for Allegheny Health Network’s community benefit and community health improvement efforts. We identified needs within each of our hospital communities and will be a catalyst to work with our community partners to take a collaborative approach to community health improvement while directing system-wide resources to improve population health throughout the region.
Our initiative aligned with ongoing community health improvement activities in our local hospital service areas as well as public health efforts directed by the Allegheny and Erie County Health Departments. Where applicable, we have aligned our priorities and planning with these local and regional initiatives to foster collaboration in community health improvement. Our timeline is consistent with IRS requirements for all not-for-profit hospitals to conduct a CHNA every three years. Allegheny Health Network views the value of a Community Health Needs Assessment to be far beyond regulatory compliance and we look forward to continued partnership to improve the health of the communities we serve.
An integral part of the CHNA process was community engagement. A Steering Committee of AHN leadership, key hospital, institute and community affairs representatives who guided the CHNA process from inception to completion. Additionally, we solicited input from a diverse selection of community stakeholders and providers through one on one interviews, surveys and other dialogue. Our research partner, Tripp Umbach, was instrumental in collecting and analyzing data and preparing the following report. Tripp Umbach’s expertise ensured the validity of the research and assisted in developing a long-term action plan to address the highest health needs across the AHN service area.
The next part of the process is to use our findings to drive and measure outcomes in addressing health disparities and needs within our communities. This will not be an easy task nor will all of its impact be felt immediately. It will require the commitment of AHN, partnerships with organizations throughout the community, and with individual members of the communities we serve. In the spring of 2019, to build further on current initiatives already in place, AHN hospitals will conduct a comprehensive process of implementation planning to guide the strategies, services, collaborations and programs that will be geared towards addressing the needs identified by the CHNA within their communities. Upon finalization, these plans will be added to the 2018 AHN CHNA documents.
AHN is excited about our role in driving positive outcomes in addressing these priorities.
Improving the health of western Pennsylvanians and residents of southwestern New York is not only in the best interest of our communities and the region, but also the mission of Allegheny Health Network. To gain a better understanding of these needs, Allegheny Health Network conducted a community health needs assessment (CHNA) in 2018.
Integral to this health needs assessment was the participation and support of community leaders and representatives. Through steering committee participation, stakeholder interviews and surveys, these individuals, representing a broad spectrum of perspectives, organizations and fields, generously volunteered their time and shared invaluable insight—thank you! The Allegheny Health Network needs assessment is a collaborative effort, with the communities we serve at the core.
The Allegheny Health Network 2018 CHNA is described in a full report that meets the requirements of the new Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act for tax-exempt 501(c) (3) hospitals. The report identifies health issues and needs in the communities we serve. In addition, the report provides critical information to AHN hospitals and others in a position to make a positive impact on the health of our region’s residents.
The results of the CHNA enable Allegheny Health Network and its eight hospitals, Allegheny General Hospital (AGH), Allegheny Valley Hospital (AVH), Canonsburg Hospital (CH), Forbes Hospital (FH) Jefferson Hospital (JH), Saint Vincent Hospital (SVH), West Penn Hospital (WPH) and Westfield Memorial Hospital (WMH) along with other community agencies and providers, to set priorities, develop interventions and direct resources to improve the health of people living in western Pennsylvania and southwestern New York. The data in the full CHNA report will serve not only as a useful community resource, but also encourage and catalyze additional activities and collaborative efforts to improve community health.