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Akron Children’s Hospital plans strategies to address top community health needs

03-13-2020 ( Ohio )

Akron Children’s Hospital’s Board of Directors approved the implementation strategy for its fourth community health needs assessment (CHNA) on Feb. 27.

The implementation strategy describes the ways in which Akron Children’s will address priority needs in the years 2020-2022 as identified through the CHNA process, which was completed in 2019.

The CHNA was completed in collaboration with the Center for Community Solutions and led to the identification of three priority health issues: mental/behavioral health and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs); asthma and respiratory care; and infant mortality and birth outcomes.

To address these issues, Akron Children’s will work system-wide and with community partners to further the following overarching goals:

  • Improve health outcomes for individuals and families impacted by mental illness and trauma through the development of a regionally based, collaborative system of care
  • Substantially reduce the burden of asthma for patients, their families and our community by implementing and practicing guideline-based care in the primary care, hospital and school settings
  • Reduce the overall rate of infant deaths and the racial infant mortality disparity ratio within our community

“Akron Children’s has established teams to address each priority health need, and they will be joined by community partners to implement the approaches within this plan,” said Bernett L. Williams, vice president for External Affairs for Akron Children’s. “We look forward to beginning the work it will take to improve the health and wellness of our youngest and most vulnerable citizens.”

Working with the Center for Community Solutions, Akron Children’s CHNA process reviewed data from the U.S. Census Bureau, the Ohio Department of Health, Ohio Hospital Association, the Ohio Medicaid Assessment Survey and other sources. In addition, interviews were conducted with community leaders, and parents and caregivers participated in focus group discussions.

The Greater Akron portion of the CNHA covered Summit, Stark, Portage, Ashland, Richland, Medina and Wayne counties. The Mahoning Valley portion covered Mahoning, Trumbull and Columbiana counties.

While the prioritized health needs of both the Greater Akron and Mahoning Valley assessments are the same, the communities will use different approaches to achieve their goals.

A full report detailing the strategies can be accessed at https://www.akronchildrens.org/files/769633/file/2020-2022-chna-implementation-strategy-akron.pdf (for Akron) and https://www.akronchildrens.org/files/769639/file/2020-2022-chna-implementation-strategy-mv.pdf (for the Mahoning Valley).