Rush University Medical Center conducted a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) in 2016. The CHNA provides data to guide strategy development and promote collaboration to address our community’s health needs. Fulfilling federal regulatory requirements, the CHNA will be conducted on a tri-annual basis.
The CHNA examined the needs of the near West Side, lower West Side, West Town, East Garfield Park, West Garfield Park, North Lawndale, South Lawndale, Austin, Oak Park and Forest Park. A Rush steering committee guided the collection and analysis of health, social, economic, housing and other data. Input also was sought directly from community leaders, representatives and agencies through focus groups and interviews.
Community health priorities
Four community health priorities were identified:
- Reducing inequities caused by the social, economic and structural determinants of health
- Improving mental and behavioral health
- Preventing and reducing chronic disease risk factors
- Increasing access to care and community services
To direct resources where the greatest impact can be realized, the CHNA implementation strategy focuses on the following:
- Partnerships and programs that provide more direct, accessible patient care
- Educational resources that promote preventive lifestyle behaviors, disease management or both
- Training and education for people of all ages for careers in health science
- Community-based research to develop evidence-based approaches for addressing health needs
- Resources, including direct funding and money that has been raised through organizational-wide initiatives, toward building partnerships with organizations that address health needs in the community