The Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) helps Summit Healthcare and our partners tackle serious health problems in our area.
Did you know that Navajo County’s suicide rate in 2016 was more than double the national average? Or that the death rate associated with alcohol was almost four times the state average for Arizona?
Thanks to the CHNA, these and other issues have become a priority for Summit Healthcare and community partners in Navajo County. The CHNA is performed every three years and surveys community members about their most pressing health concerns.
Prevention Begins with Education
Results from the 2016 CHNA helped inspire over 50 agencies, organizations, and community members to come together in January 2018. During this meeting, it was decided that a new CHNA would be created to gather feedback from the community and begin the process of addressing Navajo County’s biggest health problems.
Based on the CHNA performed in 2018, a Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) was created that summarized the five most significant health issues in Navajo County. These include:
- substance abuse
- mental and behavioral health conditions
- chronic diseases
- a growing incidence of sexually transmitted diseases (STDs)
Multiple teams and subcommittees have begun addressing these five issues. They are spreading awareness through educational events and outreach opportunities, such as stress management classes and educational lunches. They will also speak to local doctors about the importance of discussing safe sexual practices with patients.
“STDs can be difficult to talk about, but they are a severe, countywide problem among both reservation and nonreservation areas,” says Allison Hephner, Community Outreach at Navajo County Public Health Services District.
A Community Collaboration
“This is the first time we’ve had all of our different partners come together to do the assessment,” says Angie Fabian, Chief Marketing and Development Officer at Summit Healthcare. “In years past, every organization did its own assessment at different times.”
In addition to the support groups and community members who participated in surveys and completed the CHNA, we’d like to thank our community partners for their input, including:
- ARIZONA@WORK Northeastern Arizona
- ChangePoint Integrated Health
- Navajo County Public Health Services District
- Northland Pioneer College
If you would like to help with the effort, the most important thing you can do is participate in the next CHNA.
“Participation matters,” Allison says. “If you participate, you have a voice in the direction of community healthcare for the next three to five years.”