RUTLAND—Every three years Rutland Regional Medical Center is required to assess the health needs of the community. The results of this review, the Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA), helps to identify and prioritize areas of need throughout our community.
The 2021 Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) was made public on Sept. 1, and the findings show that the same priority areas from 2018 continue to be large areas of need which are:
- Childcare & Parenting
- Housing as Healthcare
- Mental Health
- Supporting the Aging Community
The CHNA report includes input from over 50 community partners and solicited information from local medical providers as well. These partners provided information on the health needs of our community and helped identify the gaps that exist. This information provides the understanding necessary to begin to address those specific needs and gaps in services and data collection.
The CHNA report not only provides important information about the health of the community, but it is also widely used as a resource by many agencies and is often referenced when writing grants and creating organizational goals, projects, or priorities. This community document helps create common goals among the many service providers in our region, thereby encouraging partnership.
“The collaborative process of this report is very important,” said Jamie Bentley, Community Impact Coordinator. “We pulled in as many voices as possible and relied on important feedback as we moved the process forward toward a final report.”
The 2021 CHNA report also highlights the importance of health equity. Health equity is when all people have the opportunity to be healthy no matter where they live, play, learn, work or age. Focusing efforts on health equity not only benefits people who are often left out or behind, but all people within our community. This approach also aligns with the goals of the Vermont Dept. of Health.
“A health equity focus gives voice to populations we don’t often hear from,” added Bentley. “It provides information that inform practices that will equate to better health outcomes for all.”
A follow up report will be released in Fall 2021 outlining implementation strategies and identifying measurable goals related to each priority area. This work will continue over the next three years in advance of the 2024 CHNA.
The full 2021 Community Health Needs Assessment report may be accessed online at rrmc.org/about/community-health-needs-assessment/.