SLVH Conducts First Meeting for their Community Health Needs Assessment

L to R: Michelle Lueck, Emily Santich, and Chris Hettinger-Hunt

Every three years San Luis Valley Health completes a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA). On April 7, 2022, SLVH worked with the Colorado Health Institute (CHI) to facilitate discussions with key stakeholders from the San Luis Valley, both in person and virtually. CHI led the discussion that reviewed evidence-based health care research and data and identified health needs. Michelle Lueck, Chief Executive Officer, CHI, started the assessment by asking participants to identify their top two most pressing health issues. Emily Santich, Research Analyst, CHI, emphasized, “You are the experts. You know your community. The strength in the process is to combine your expertise with the data.” Over 55 community members and SLVH employees participated in the discussion, 35 in person and 20 virtually. Topics ranged from mental health and substance use disorders to food insecurity, and housing, all of which affect health outcomes. SLVH also reviewed the key measures it is working on through the state’s Hospital Transformation Program.

While the CHNA is a federal requirement of the IRS for non-profit hospitals to demonstrate their value by addressing the unmet health needs of the communities served, SLVH also uses the information to help guide strategic priorities to improve its services. “The timing of this needs assessment is important as SLVH begins its work to set our strategic priorities for the next year. It’s a direct way for SLVH to respond to the various patient populations we serve,” said Christine Hettinger-Hunt, SLVH Chief Operating Officer.

SLVH will also collect health surveys from Valley residents to provide input on top areas of concern. Based on community feedback, SLVH then determines how to use its capacity and resources to respond to identified needs.

SLVH conducted its last CHNA in 2019 and identified Access to Care; Chronic Disease Management; Mental Health Prevention and Improvement; Substance Abuse Prevention, Treatment, and Recovery; and Poverty Mitigation as top priorities.

San Luis Valley residents are encouraged to participate in the 2022 process by completing a community health survey, following the links below to give input:

English: https://forms.gle/dbXjmQP7AVVATKWi7

Spanish: https://forms.gle/LDpQTnZJn2kFEY8UA

Survey responses are confidential and need to be returned by April 22 to help inform priorities. Survey participants will be entered into a drawing for a $50 gift card. The next meeting will be at 2:00 p.m. at the SLVH Education and Conference Center on April 27, 2022. If you have any questions, please contact Christine Hettinger-Hunt at 719-587-1243 or Donna Wehe at 719-587-1209.