Partnership examines community health needs


Continuing their commitment to community health and partnering on critical community issues, Akron Children’s Hospital, Akron General Health System and Summa Health System banded together late last year on the 2010 Community Health Needs Assessment. Results of the study are being published this week.

The collaborative project was designed to provide a health review of Medina, Portage, Stark, Summit and Wayne counties.

The assessment  used the resources and input of the three health systems, area health departments, and community-based nonprofit organizations, as well as a survey of more than 3,000 residents throughout the five counties.

The participants recognized that living conditions, as well as lifestyle, impact the overall health of the region’s residents, and that realizing meaningful change will involve more than the efforts of the health systems.

The assessment is the first step in establishing results-oriented strategies that coordinate the efforts of the region’s healthcare organizations, residents and public and private agencies.

“This assessment will be a baseline for looking at the needs of our region’s children and families,” said Bill Considine, president and CEO of Akron Children’s Hospital. “It will allow us to build on what each of the area hospitals is already doing to address the needs of our community.”

As a result of the assessment, a foundation has been established to determine the healthcare needs of our community. The assessment offers creative ideas and potential actions to reduce the prevalence of key health problems, and provides critical information upon which agencies can make effective resource and program investments.

“Everyone at Akron General remains firmly committed to improving the health and lives of our patients and our community,” said Vincent J. McCorkle, president and CEO of Akron General Health System. “This report will greatly help us in fulfilling this critical mission.”

“The assessment is a very important first step in Akron’s healthcare organizations coming together to better understand the current health status of the community,” said Summa Health System President and CEO Tom Strauss. “By doing so, each organization can build on existing programs and services and create additional solutions to ensure the long-term health and well being of our citizens.”

Similar Community Health Needs Assessments will soon be required under Federal Healthcare Reform. Through publication of this report, the Akron area organizations could serve as pacesetters for other communities across the country that face the same challenges with the health of their residents. 

View the Community Health Needs Assessment report (PDF format).

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