Augusta Health Conducting Community Health Needs Assessment
Augusta Health says it can better serve its neighbors, if it knows what they really need.
The Fishersville-based hospital has hired a consulting firm to do a community health needs assessment. Focus groups and random telephone surveys will be part of the study.
The hospital did its first full-scale assessment in 2009, and found weaknesses in mental health, obesity, and prenatal care.
Community wellness director Linda Gail Johnson said, "The chronic diseases is another factor that we're looking at too - diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol. We may see a similar pattern, but we'll find out."
Results of the needs assessment will go public this fall. Studies of this type are now required for nearly all hospitals, under the federal government's new Affordable Care Act.
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