WellSpan Health today released the results of its 2022 Community Health Needs Assessment which reveals the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on community health in South Central Pennsylvania. Health disparities based on race, ethnicity, and income; delayed preventive care, and worsening behavioral health indicators were just a few of the key findings. The community health needs assessment is one of many ways WellSpan Health partners with community stakeholders to better understand and develop interventions that support cultural, social and behavioral issues that impact health.
Based on the findings of the assessment, WellSpan has created a Community Health Improvement Plan that prioritizes local and regional actions to be developed and implemented over the next three years. We will collaborate with health coalitions and other community organizations to build on current programs and drive meaningful change in these areas: Care for All; Mental Well-Being; Social Determinants of Health; and Healthy Communities.
“At WellSpan, we take seriously our role as the region’s leading not-for-profit health system,” said Roxanna Gapstur, Ph.D., R.N., president and CEO of WellSpan Health. “WellSpan’s economic impact on our region is $4.2 billion, and in fiscal 2021, we contributed nearly $188 million in community benefit, through charity care, Medicaid shortfall support, discount services to those in need, and community programs and outreach. As a trusted partner, WellSpan is committed to engaging with individuals and organizations to address recent trends and improve the health of our communities.”
A few examples of current programs that successfully addressed community health issues in 2021 include:
- Removed financial barriers by helping 2,221 uninsured or underinsured patients access the care they needed through the Healthy Community Network.
- Filled 16,000 prescriptions, valued at $430,000, through the Prescription for Caring program to individuals who could not otherwise afford them.
- Delivered health and wellness programs, such as 10-Pound Throwdown, Get Outdoors and Tobacco Cessation, to more than 25,000.
- Opened the START clinic, a one-stop shop for those with mental health and substance use disorders, which served 745 patients in the last half of 2021.
- Reduced opioid abuse by engaging 667 patients in medication assisted treatment with recovery support services.
- Identified more than 8,000 food insecure and more than 5,500 housing insecure patients. Then, through community agencies, 3,500 neighbors participated in WellSpan nutrition and food support programs, such as Monday’s Market and Market Bucks, and and 1,500 benefited from WellSpan housing programs that include support of the Alliance for Low-Income personal Care Home Advancement (ALPHA) and Arches to Wellness.
This fall, local county health coalitions – Healthy Adams, Healthy York, Healthy Franklin, Northern Lancaster Hub, and the Community Healthy Council of Lebanon County – will hold summits with community residents to review findings and collaborate on local strategies to improve health for all. The complete 2022 Community Health Needs Assessment and Community Health Improvement Plan along with the dates and time for the local summits can be found at https://WellSpan.org/about/Wellspan-in-the-community.