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St. Charles Prineville in process of identifying areas of focus for the next three years following recent study

CENTRAL OREGONIAN - St. Charles Prineville will review the data from the recent study and determine local health focus priorities for the next three years.

St. Charles Prineville has identified the community health needs it needs to focus on during the next three years following completion of a recent study.

The Community Health Needs Assessment, or CHNA, for 2020-2022 was recently approved by the St. Charles Board of Directors for four Central Oregon communities, including Prineville. Each CHNA covers the next three years and identifies six significant health needs for its respective region. The health needs were identified based on a combination of phone surveys, focus groups, interviews and the Central Oregon Health Council's regional health needs assessment, among other sources. St. Charles and the health council collaborated to conduct the research and develop the CHNAs.

St. Charles is required to conduct a health needs assessment for each region served by one of the health system's hospitals. These assessments help guide the selection of a priority focus and the development of the regional health implementation strategy for the health system. As St. Charles and the Central Oregon Health Council move forward with their implementation plans, the goal is to align efforts for increased collective impact. The information in the CHNAs will also help guide St. Charles' allocation of funds, resources and time to local community nonprofit organizations.

The community benefit team will conduct interviews with people from each facility to determine priority areas and create work plans for the next three years. For the 2017-2019 years, the focus has been on suicide prevention.

The assessment looked at the annual county health rankings in helping determine which health factors in Crook County St. Charles should focus on more closely. They include adult smoking and obesity, physical inactivity, alcohol-impaired driving deaths, the local physician-to-citizen ratio, high school graduation rates, unemployment, violent crime and severe housing problems.

The assessment also relied on phone survey data, which revealed that the top-rated health concerns for the public include old age in general as well as diabetes and access to affordable health care. Asked what would improve their quality of life, respondents said wellness and prevention programs, living wage jobs, dental health, affordable housing, improved transportation access to health care and mental health programs.

The survey went on ask members of the public what would improve the health of the community most. The top answers once again included affordable housing and living wage jobs, as well as better transportation to health care. In addition, respondents highlighted access to education and programs to address mental health, substance abuse and wellness.

After looking over this data, as well as information compiled through focus groups, the assessment highlighted priorities. They include promotion of individual well-being with an emphasis on early childhood education and development, immunizations and childcare. Another priority is to promote enhanced physical health by addressing cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity and preventable diseases. Behavioral health was similarly highlighted in the assessment with attention given to mental health, suicide and emotional health. Substance abuse was also targeted, as was as the need for stable housing and poverty reduction.

In April, the St. Charles board is scheduled to approve the priority focus and the regional health implementation strategy for the next three years in Prineville.


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