HOISINGTON — Clara Barton Hospital held a community assessment meeting with Vince Vandehaar, owner of VVV Research & Development, Inc., to provide an overview of Barton County health needs on Monday night.
Curt Colson, president and CEO of Clara Barton Hospital, opened the meeting. He said that nonprofit hospitals are mandated to have a public health assessment every three years.
CBH last held the Kansas Health Works project in 2010 with Dr. John Leatherman, who also provided a comprehensive report.
Vandehaar presented overall statistics concerning Barton County, although the full report will not be ready for a couple of months.
"The Community Health Needs Assessment’s role is to identify factors that affect the health of the population and determine the availability of resources to adequately address those factors," said Vandehaar. Barton County was compared with the state and 10 nearby counties.
Vandehaar gave a comprehensive review of the county’s vital statistics. He also questioned the audience to determine if there were any surprises or new information.
Barton County’s demographic profile shows that the county’s population is holding steady, but that there is a slightly higher proportion of elderly and slightly more poverty than the state, according to Vandehaar.
The audience reported some strengths of the community which include a large selection of providers, significant choices in institutions, growing partnerships among providers and a sliding fee clinic.
Some areas that need improvement include economic development, obesity levels, teen pregnancy, wellness and prevention programs and awareness of services.
The participants voted for the top four items that they thought needed improvement, which Vandehaar will also report on.
"It went well," said Colson. "We heard a lot of good information. Nothing came as a great revelation."
Colson also said that he could have gone on another hour when the audience participated in smaller groups to provide feedback.
Vandehaar will write a comprehensive report on all of the data, which the hospital will publish on their website when it becomes available.
"We’ll see what plan of action we can put in place," said Colson.