Community Health Improvement Plan 2012 Annual Report - Owensboro Health

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Community Health Improvement Plan 2012 Annual Report

The Community Health Improvement Plan update at Owensboro Health Regional Hospital drew a large crowd of professionals from throughout the region on Wednesday, as health organization leaders shared their insights on the progress made.

More than 125 filled the auditorium at the Owensboro Health Pleasant Valley campus, as leaders talked about efforts over the past three years to address some key health problems throughout the region. After a Community Health Needs Assessment was done in January 2012, which Owensboro Health is legally required to complete as a not-for-profit community health system, a number of strategic initiatives were created to tackle health issues.

A role to play

Steve Johnson, executive director of government and community relations, said Owensboro Health can have a tremendous impact when it comes to uniting people and organizations in this mission.

“Owensboro Health is a big organization that serves 11 counties. In the new day of health care we have to realize we can't be all things to all people. We can't solve all the issues and we can't just treat people when they come into the hospital sick,” Johnson said. “We have a role to play in terms of assisting these communities to be more engaged. We can provide resources that make sense to a community to assist them. It's all about being a good partner.”

The issues at hand

The problems faced are similar throughout the counties covered by Owensboro Health, said Deborah Fillman, public health director at the Green River District Health Department. Obesity, access to care and substance abuse were the top issues to address, with teen issues, mental health, diabetes and other similar issues tied in with the main topics.

As part of the meeting, presenters covered work that had been done in Daviess, Henderson, McLean, Ohio, Union and Webster counties. The presentations also discussed the involvement of various agencies, community partners and businesses in making changes and planning for the future. Fillman noted that this meeting is especially important because it demonstrates that different individuals, entities and agencies are all working together on improving community health.

“We have a shared vision, a shared plan. We're going in the same direction,” Fillman said. “I think that's a tremendous accomplishment.”

The changing face of health care

Johnson said this type of collaborative effort is what people can expect of health care in the years to come.

“In the new world of health care reform, hospitals have to move outside their walls into their communities. This is a tremendous example,” Johnson said. “We want all of us to be thinking about that out in the community. We as hospital employees can all play a role.”

Fillman said there’s momentum now and the coming years can bring tangible effects.

“If we keep up like this, we'll really see a change in the health of our communities, and we already are,” Fillman said. “If we did this much in three years, imagine what we can do for the health of our communities.”