JMH Stresses Importance of Community Health Needs Assessment

By Benjamin Cox on February 19, 2024 at 8:40am

Jacksonville Memorial Hospital and the Morgan County Health Department are asking residents of the county to complete a short survey about health issues.

The Community Health Needs Assessment takes place every 3 years and is required by the Affordable Care Act for nonprofit hospitals like JMH.

Community Health Coordinator Claire Peak says that JMH coordinates with the Morgan County Health Department after the survey is collected to develop an overall plan to serve the community’s health needs: “After the data collection, we host an invite or presentation with local agencies to go over that data and then pick some of the priorities we think Morgan County is most in need of. Right now, we are working on distributing the survey to get Morgan County residents’ feedback to put towards the Community Health Needs Assessment. Once we narrow down the 3 priorities that we feel like Morgan County is most focused on, we will then complete implementation plans based off of those priorities. It will basically focus our community health work for the next 3 years.”

Peak says during the last assessment in 2021, JMH was able to implement a number of initiatives to tackle the 3 priorities identified in the survey: Mental Health, Obesity, and Cancer: “For example, for cancer, we have free skin cancer screenings every year. We have ‘Mammogram Mondays’ for free mammograms. Then, we also have free colorectal cancer kits that we distribute to the community. Then, for obesity, we created our LINK match program at the Jacksonville Farmer’s Market so this past year, shoppers redeemed more than $4,500 in vouchers for health, fresh food. Those are just some examples of what came about through the last survey and how we addressed those needs.”

To complete the survey online visit this link or call 217-479-3928. The survey is open through February 24th. Results of the survey will be posted in October.