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Tower Health Shares Community Health Needs Assessments

by Reading Hospital - Tower Health

Tower Health Shares Community Health Needs Assessments

Reports Available for Chestnut Hill, Phoenixville, Pottstown, Reading, and St. Christopher’s Hospitals

Tower Health has produced its latest round of Community Health Needs Assessments for its hospitals’ service areas in Berks, Chester, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties. Community Health Needs Assessments (CHNA) have been required of tax-exempt hospitals since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was enacted in 2010. These assessments, done every three years, create an important opportunity to improve the health of communities. All Tower Health facilities and its community partners completed the 2022 Community Health Needs Assessment, to identify the region’s health priorities and determine a collective path forward.

The data for Tower Health’s CHNA was collected regionally and reported for each hospital service area. The project engaged more than 4,000 community members and leaders within the organization’s service area through stakeholder interviews, leadership and health equity focus groups, and key informant and community surveys A health provider inventory, which highlights organizations and agencies that serve the community was also created.

Based on this work, priority areas identified by the CHNA for the next three years include:

With health equity as a focus, “access to care” (a priority from prior CHNAs) transformed to “access to equitable care.” Equitable care means delivering care that does not differ in quality according to characteristics of the patient or patient group such as age, gender, geographic location, cultural background, ethnicity, religion, and socioeconomic status.

“The information provided in the Community Health Needs Assessment is critical to the current and future health and wellness of our communities,” said P. Sue Perrotty, Tower Health President and CEO. “By continuing to develop and invest in the programs and services our families, friends, and neighbors need, we can help ensure ongoing success for the next generation.”

Desha Dickson, Tower Health Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and Community Wellness added, “We have already begun work with our community partners at each hospital to finalize plans addressing the priorities identified in this year’s needs assessment. When complete in the November this information will be available publicly. When community organizations bring their strengths and ideas to the table, we are all stronger –collectively and individually – and can make a more significant impact for the members of our communities.”

Tower Health completed its last CHNA in 2019 and has since executed several successful programs in each of the hospital’s communities:

This is the first CHNA that St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children has completed. The data collected will support the development of new programs and the enhancement of current programs to serve some of the most economically under-resourced neighborhoods in the country and help meet their needs by combatting food insecurity, supporting those affected by gun violence, connecting families to legal support, mitigating stress, and more. The COVID-19 pandemic further helped the hospital to realize the even wider gaps that resulted as related to accessing care, including a lack of education and awareness of available health services and programs; a greater digital divide and lack of access to technology; an increased demand for behavioral health services; and a limited capacity to provide quality and appropriate care due to limited language services. St. Christopher’s is committed to offering programs and services that not only provide high-quality care close to home, but also address social determinants of health.

Tower Health Community Health Needs Assessments are available here: