Two months after residents filled a Jefferson County courtroom to discuss Jefferson Hospital’s future, the hospital is asking them to help it plan for the future of health care in this area.
Over the next several weeks, the hospital will conduct a Community Needs Assessment to identify and prioritize the most significant health needs of the community it serves.
“This assessment will also help to identify vulnerable populations, local assets and what additional resources are needed, as well as the community’s preferences and support of local healthcare services,” said Jessica Guy, the hospital’s administrative manager. “The goal of this assessment is to identify community health needs and to collect up-to-date community health perceptions.”
The IRS requires tax-exempt hospitals to complete such an assessment every three years.
Jefferson Hospital conducted its first assessment of this type in 2013 and the results fell primarily into four different categories: the need to improve partnerships of community health, the identification of specific issues with the hospital such as underutilization and lack of specialized equipment, the need to promote partnerships to promote economic development and the identification of issues associated with health care access.
After identifying these needs and challenges, the hospital was able to create immediate goals, interventions and long-term goals, as well as ways to measure their progress towards these goals.
Guy said the hospital is working with the University of Georgia’s College of Public Health to develop, administer and collect a survey that will be available in the hospital’s lobby, at the registration desk, at Physicians Health Clinics and libraries in Louisville, Wrens and Wadley. To receive a link or have a printed copy mailed, contact Guy at (478) 625-7000 ext. 205 or email@example.com. The submission deadline is Nov. 1.
“Jefferson Hospital not only wants to meet the requirements of this federal mandate, but we also want to be proactive in providing for the health care needs in our community,” Guy said. “Please take advantage of this opportunity to provide input into the future of health care in Jefferson County. This process will not be effective without the feedback of our community.”