In 2010, Living Well Medina County began conducting community needs assessments for the purpose of measuring and addressing health status. LWMC established its vision as Creating and Implementing a Community Vision that Promotes Living Well in Medina County.
The most recent 2017 Medina County Community Needs Assessment was cross-sectional in nature and included a written survey of adults, adolescents, and parents within Medina County. The questions were modeled after the survey instruments used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for their national and state Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS), the Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS), and the National Survey of Children’s Health (NSCH). This has allowed Medina County to compare the data collected in their community needs assessment to national, state and local health trends.
The 2017 Medina County Community Needs Assessment also fulfills national mandated requirements for the hospitals in our county. H.R. 3590 Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act states that in order to maintain tax-exempt status, not-for-profit hospitals are required to conduct a community needs assessment at least once every three years, and adopt an implementation strategy to meet the needs identified through the assessment.
From the beginning phases of the needs assessment, community leaders were actively engaged in the planning process and helped define the content, scope, and sequence of the project. Active engagement of community members throughout the planning process is regarded as an important step in completing a valid needs assessment.
The 2017 Medina County Needs Assessment has been utilized as a vital tool for creating the Medina County Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). The Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) defines a CHIP as a long-term, systematic effort to address health problems on the basis of the results of assessment activities and the community health improvement process. This plan is used by health and other governmental, education, and human service agencies, in collaboration with community partners, to set priorities and coordinate and target resources. A CHIP is critical for developing policies and defining actions to target efforts that promote health. It should define the vision for the health of the community inclusively and should be done in a timely way.
Living Well Medina County hired the Hospital Council of Northwest Ohio (HCNO), a neutral regional non-profit hospital association, to facilitate the prioritization process of the CHIP. Living Well Medina County then invited key community leaders to participate in an organized prioritization process to improve the health of residents of the county. The National Association of City County Health Officer’s (NACCHO) strategic planning tool, Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships (MAPP), was used throughout the prioritization process.
This Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) represents the work, collaboration, and engagement of over 100 individuals/agencies in the community. Multiple opportunities to participate and provide input (including emails, in-person meetings, surveys) were utilized since the release of the CHA in September 2017.