Local hospitals to determine NWI’s greatest health needs - October 15, 2015

Courtesy of NWI Times

October 15, 2015 5:48 pm • Times Staff

The region’s nonprofit hospitals once again are taking the community’s pulse on what it thinks are the region’s greatest health needs.

For the first time since 2012, the three health systems — Community Healthcare System, Franciscan Alliance and Methodist Hospitals — are conducting a study to find out the greatest areas of improvement for health care in Northwest Indiana.

The process will involve a survey of area residents, focus-group interviews with community stakeholders and an analysis of secondary health data. The hospitals will use the information to identify opportunities for further collaboration to better the health of the community.

Surveys will be emailed in mid-October to residents of Lake, Porter and Newton counties and part of Cook County, Ill. The questionnaires will ask about residents’ personal experiences with local health providers and solicit input on the community’s needs.

The findings will be presented to focus groups of community leaders, who then will determine how best to meet those needs. The groups are expected to be completed in January.

The first community health needs assessment conducted in 2012 indicated that infant mortality, obesity, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, cancer and access to care were among the top health concerns in the region.