Earlier this year, Tower Health completed the 2022 Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA), which identifies its region’s health priorities. The data for the CHNA were collected regionally and reported for each Tower Health hospital service area. The priority areas for the next three years include: Access to Equitable Care, Behavioral Health, Health Education and Prevention, and Health Equity. Equitable care means delivering care that does not differ in quality based on the patient’s or patient group characteristics such as age, gender, geographic location, cultural background, ethnicity, religion, or socioeconomic status.
“Upon completion of the CHNA each of our hospitals worked with their community partners and organizations to develop their Implementation Strategy,” said Desha Dickson, Tower Health Vice President of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Community Wellness. “The Implementation Strategy will guide the work we do and the programs we develop over the next three years. I think the most important aspect of the CHNA process is community partnership and engagement. Each of our community partners brings significant and unique expertise. We are much stronger together than we would be individually, and the community benefits from our collaboration.”
The Implementation Plan is a key component of the community health needs assessment process, as it outlines the goals for each prioritized community need and sets the stage to implement strategies and initiatives that will impact health outcomes and sustain improvements in health status across the communities Tower Health serves.
Casey Fenoglio, Community Wellness Program Manager at Pottstown Hospital said, “Our team is excited to share our plans for the next three years. We’ll be developing some new and innovative ideas as well as instituting programs that have been successful at other hospitals and organizations.”
Several strategies include:
- At Chestnut Hill Hospital, eligible patients with transportation issues will have access to free transportation to and from medical appointments through Ride Health.
- The team at Phoenixville Hospital is working to increase access to telemedicine services. Through a collaboration with Phoenixville Senior Center and other senior living facilities in the community, the team plans to provide technology education programs. In addition, they will host events to educate on the advancements of healthcare technology, such as remote patient monitoring, that results in improved access to care.
- To help address behavioral health needs in the community, Pottstown Hospital plans to develop a Street Medicine Psychiatric Program. The goal is to treat a minimum of 40 patients and connect 30 percent of patients to routine outpatient therapy. Partners in this initiative include Access Services, Community Health and Dental Care, and Creative Health Services.
- Reading Hospital’s Community Connection Program will screen Medicare, Medicaid, and other at-risk populations and deploy Community Health Workers (CHWs) as an intervention for addressing health disparities in high-risk, vulnerable patient populations through the creation of closed-loop referrals to community-based organizations. The program goals include completing 10,000 patient screenings per year and generating 1,200 referrals.
- Christopher’s Hospital for Children will continue to focus on Gun Violence Prevention to keep the children in their community safe. Over the next three years the team plans to host an annual gun violence prevention forum, distribute gun locks in partnership with Temple University, support gun buyback program events, conduct “Stop the Bleed” trainings, and conduct screening and education around gun safety and gun violence in the Center for the Urban Child.
Barbara O’Connor, Director of Community Health Education & Outreach at Phoenixville Hospital added, “We are fortunate to have the support of so many collaborative community partners. By connecting with other local organizations, our hospitals will be able to increase education about and access to vital resources and help ensure the health and safety of the members of our communities.”
“A great deal of time and energy goes into completing the Community Health Needs Assessment reports and Implementation Strategy documents,” said P. Sue Perrotty, Tower Health President and CEO. “I thank the team members at Tower Health for their commitment to the health of our communities throughout Berks, Chester, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties. I also appreciate the ongoing teamwork from our community partners. By continuing to work together we will strengthen our communities.”
Tower Health CHNA Implementation Plans are available here:
- Chestnut Hill Hospital
- Phoenixville Hospital
- Pottstown Hospital
- Reading Hospital
- Christopher’s Hospital for Children
Questions and comments regarding Tower Health’s Community Health Needs Assessment can be sent to [email protected].