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Community Health Needs Assessment


A community health needs assessment (CHNA) can be generally described as an activity of assessing the leading causes of physical and mental illness and death in a population. Statistical data are analyzed to add credibility and validity to an assessment. Community input is obtained, and population perceptions are considered to assist in determining the perceived needs of a defined population, as well as focus efforts that will result in a positive outcome to the community's health-related awareness and perceptions and ultimate health.

Perry County Memorial Hospital Procedure for Completing a CHNA

The procedure taken by the Perry County Health System in completing a meaningful CHNA are as follows. First, in 2016, Perry County Memorial Hospital (PCMH) was a participant in a communitywide survey along with other significant community agencies (county health department, city police, county sheriff, schools, TASK force, mental health board and others) to obtain data on individual perceptions of community and health needs.

The data was managed electronically, allowing one the opportunity to segregate data efficiently to understand specific subgroup perceptions. Following the communitywide survey, PCMH leadership analyzed the data to narrow the perceived needs to the top five. Leadership added to those top community needs other findings from previous surveys that had been focus points in the PCMH 2013–2016 CHNA cycle. A second, healthcare-specific survey was then developed and circulated to over 250 hospital staff, volunteers, physicians and department directors.

From this survey, the top three needs became PCMH's focused health need priorities and have been incorporated into PCMH's CHNA and implementation strategy for the 2016–2019 cycle. The PCMH's CHNA and implementation strategy for the 2016–2019 cycle was presented to the PCMH Board of Directors in August 2016 and formally adopted.

In March 2019, the same health needs were presented to the Perry County community for ranking. A summary of the 2016 Perry County community wide survey can be found in Appendix B of our 2019 CHNA. Within the Conducting The Needs Assessment portion of this report, you can find the 2019 Health and Well-being Survey results completed by PCMH staff, community leaders, medical staff and the entire Perry County community. After reviewing progress and strategy with the 2016 identified health needs and comparing it to the top identified 2019 results, the focus of the 2019–2022 CHNA have been combined to the following:

  1. Dementia and Alzheimer's disease.
  2. Substance abuse and mental healthcare needs.
  3. Cancer care.

Leadership considered the three needs and provided further quantitative evaluation. The most specific healthcare outcome and public health measures available to quantify the need and current standing of these priority areas are found in the Secondary Data Health Status of Population section of our report. The actions to be taken to develop each priority area, given adequate resources are available, are outlined in the 2019 CHNA as well. For implementation purposes, these steps will be inserted into the relevant strategic planning section and reported to the board at least annually.

In preparation for our next CHNA, a Community Health Survey was completed by PCHS staff, medical staff, community leaders, and the entire Perry County community to determine what the current health needs are for Perry County. Click here to view the results from our 2022 Community Health Survey.

For More Information

For those interested in more information pertaining to the PCMH CHNA, or the resources used in developing this assessment, please feel free to contact the PCHS President/CEO or Director of Marketing by calling 573.547.2536. The 2019 PCMH CHNA document is widely available through this link to anyone, free of cost or consent. Click here to view our most recent strategy update.

Make a Contribution to the Future PCHS CHNA

PCHS invites and accepts input regarding the CHNA and general community health needs from any and all Perry County residents, and will consider the professional advice of any expert in the field of community and population health. Such input will be used in adapting our present and all future community health needs assessments and plans. You may direct your input to the PCHS Board of Directors, Administration and/or the Marketing/Public Relations Department. PCHS will endeavor to renew its CHNA every 3 years to maintain compliance with the IRS rule on community health needs assessments and related requirements for charitable hospitals.