ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, Ill. (August 13, 2013) -- Northwest Community Healthcare (NCH), which has a longstanding tradition of reaching out to the medically underserved in Chicago's northwest suburbs, will focus on five priority health issues identified through a recently completed Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA).
The CHNA identifies and addresses key health issues in the community while taking into account NCH's resources, mission, goals and strategic priorities. While the assessment and implementation plan are new mandates under the Affordable Care Act, NCH has been identifying and addressing unmet community needs for more than a decade.
After considering the top health priorities identified in the assessment, NCH determined it would focus efforts on developing and supporting strategies and initiatives to improve the following areas:
• Access to primary healthcare services
• Access to oral healthcare services
• Access to mental health and youth substance abuse healthcare services
• Obesity and diabetes
With 10.2 percent of NCH's service area lacking health insurance, NCH will work to provide affordable primary healthcare resources, oral healthcare services and behavioral health resources for the community. The CHNA found that 56 percent of residents in NCH's service area are overweight and 26 percent are obese. As a result, NCH will focus on preventing obesity through the promotion of breastfeeding, increasing access to healthy food and increasing opportunities for physical activity.
The CHNA, which is now available online at www.nch.org/community-services, includes NCH's implementation strategies to address the health issues. NCH encourages and welcomes feedback on the CHNA and the implementation plan. The CHNA, conducted by healthcare consulting firm Professional Research Consultants Inc., is a follow-up to a 2009 study to determine the health status, behaviors and needs of residents in NCH's service area.
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About Northwest Community Healthcare (NCH)
Serving Chicago's northwest suburbs since 1959, NCH is a comprehensive, patient-centered system of care that serves more than 350,000 outpatients each year, as well as nearly 30,000 inpatients treated annually at the 496-bed acute care hospital in Arlington Heights. The award-winning hospital holds the prestigious Magnet designation for nursing excellence, is designated as a Primary Stroke Center, earned the Joint Commission's Gold Seal of Approval in 2011, and was awarded the Leapfrog Group's designation as one of the nation's Top Hospitals based on quality and safety criteria. NCH has four Immediate Care locations in the northwest suburbs and operates a FastCare Clinic in Palatine. NCH has a medical staff of more than 1,000 physicians, which includes the board-certified primary care doctors and specialists of the NCH Medical Group. For more information or to find a doctor on the NCH Medical staff, visit www.nch.org.