Community Needs Assessment Process
At Mills-Peninsula, the first step we take toward improving the health of our community is to identify and assess the community’s unmet health needs. To do this, we conduct a thorough community health needs assessment once every three years, working in collaboration with other health care providers, public health departments and a variety of community organizations.
Gathering Information about Community Needs
Community health needs assessments are a productive and meaningful way to engage the community in our strategic community benefit planning process. We collect a wide range of information that helps inform our needs assessments, including:
- Qualitative data, such as focus groups, interviews and telephone surveys.
- Quantitative data, such as demographics and rates of chronic diseases.
- Input from persons who represent the broad interests of the community, such as public health experts.
We asked Professional Research Consultants (PRC) to conduct the assessment on behalf of The Healthy Community Collaborative of San Mateo County.
PRC held a community leader/key stakeholder focus group, and interviewed 1,724 randomly selected San Mateo County residents. We also examined key health status indicators and quality of life measurements. Examples of health status indicators included years of potential life lost; infant mortality; mortality rates by causes such as cancer and cardiovascular disease; hospitalizations due to various causes; maternal and child health such as low birth weight, childhood immunization rates, and childhood obesity; and incidence and prevalence of communicable diseases.
Based on this needs assessment, we focused our community benefit efforts on the following areas:
- Support for older adults
- Screening and education for underserved African-American, Asian, Hispanic and Pacific Islander populations
- Support for safety net clinics providing outpatient care for people who have no insurance
- Support for local non-profit organizations that help bridge the gap in health services for the underserved