Starting in March 2011, the three hospitals of Memorial Health System (MHS) began community health need assessments in each of the three counties where they are located. Memorial Medical Center in Sangamon County, Abraham Lincoln Memorial Hospital in Logan County and Taylorville Memorial Hospital in Christian County collaborated in identifying needs specific to each of their counties.
The process included reviewing existing need assessments in each county and contracting with Healthy Communities Institute of Berkeley, Cal., to provide county-specific health data for the county where each hospital is located.
MHS also created criteria whereby it would narrow down the multitude of health issues for final selection. These were:
- Any priority must address one or more of the Institute of Medicine's Triple Aim: improve the health of individuals; improve the health of populations; reduce waste, variation & healthcare costs
- Must be considered in light of available community assets
- Must be considered in light of available hospital assets
MHS convened an Internal Advisory Team made up of leaders, clinicians, social services and mental health experts to review the data. Several of these people had master of public health degrees. This group identified nine priority areas, which they then narrowed to five using the defined criteria above. The final priorities selected for further investigation were:
- Access to Care
- Cardiovascular Disease
- Breast Cancer
Each hospital then convened an External Advisory Group in its own county, which included local representatives from the public health department, social service agencies and healthcare providers. This group reviewed the data, provided information on assets and gaps in the community and gave insight into the health issues on the local level.
The MHS Internal Team reconvened and reviewed the input from the External Advisory Group. The final priorities selected were recommended to the MHS Board’s Community Benefit Committee on Nov. 17, 2011 and were approved by the full MHS board on Dec. 14, 2011. The priorities to be addressed will be:
- Access to Healthcare
- Cardiovascular Disease
Community Health Need Assessment Implementation Plan
During 2012, Memorial Health System affiliates identified goals and measures to address the priorities identified by the community health need assessment. On August 17, 2012, the MHS Community Benefit Committee approved the plan to address the priorities in the FY13 Community Benefit Plan, which was also approved by the full Memorial Health System Board on September 12, 2012. Click here to review the FY13 Community Benefit Plan.