BATON ROUGE, La. — November 13, 2020 — Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome announced Friday the completion of the 2018 Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA).
A CHNA is a strategic plan evaluating the health of a community and a requirement of tax-exempt hospitals. The federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), enacted on March 23, 2010, requires tax-exempt hospitals to create a CHNA every three years in order to preserve their tax-exempt status.
“Over the last three years following the 2018 CHNA, HealthyBR has partnered with our community health partners to improve the health and well-being of residents through a renewed focus on social determinants of health,” said Mayor Broome. “The 2021 joint CHNA will continue to target these key determinants of health in our city. Together, we will continue to make our city a healthier place for all.”
The 2018 CHNA identified the health priorities for the parish and significant community health needs. The four focus areas included HIV and STIs, Healthy Living, Behavioral Health, and Access to Care. The Mayor’s Healthy City Initiative, HealthyBR, and the five major hospitals have collaborated to fulfill these needs over the last three years.
“From HIV testing to expanding access to emergency and pediatric care, we have made incredible strides as a community over the last several years,” said Scott Wester, President and CEO of Our Lady of the Lake. “Now as we face a global pandemic on top of existing health challenges, it’s up to each of us to double down our support for meeting the health needs of our community. Together, we can meet these challenges head on and produce results for a better, healthier Baton Rouge.”
“At Ochsner, we envision a Healthier State — and that includes a Healthy Baton Rouge. As part of this vision, we are continuing our community-focused strategy of providing care when and where our patients need it — and providing resources to care for the whole person,” said Eric McMillen, CEO, Ochsner Baton Rouge. “Ochsner recently announced a 10-year statewide community health initiative, the first five years of which includes a $100 million investment that will focus on programs that eliminate barriers to healthcare and bring resources to underserved and rural areas, including right here in Baton Rouge. Ochsner is opening 15 community health centers across the state — including the revitalized New Era Medical Complex at Howell Place and a second Baton Rouge location in the near future.”
Creating the 2021 CHNA started with HealthyBR convening a workgroup to identify the top 10 community health needs in the parish. The group consisted of representatives from Baton Rouge General Medical Center, Lane Regional Medical Center, Ochsner Health System, Our Lady of the Lake Regional Medical Center, Woman’s Hospital, Pennington Biomedical Research Center, and over 30 organizations, ranging from the health insurance industry to non-profit agencies.
This group collected data from more than 30 local and national sources to determine the top ten community health needs, identified below:
- Health Equity and Racial Disparities
- Behavioral Health
- Public Health Emergency Preparedness
- Healthy Living/Lifestyles
- Chronic Disease
- Maternal and Infant Health
- Violence Prevention
- Social Determinants of Health
- Pediatric and Adolescent Health
“Three years ago, when we put together the last community health needs assessment, we began to focus on addressing not only health issues, but the social determinants of health that can make it more difficult for people to be healthy. We’ve made a lot of progress over the last several years, from improving access to working with local partners to make healthy food more available. 2020 has brought new, global health challenges, and again our local healthcare organizations worked together to overcome them. That collaboration is why I’m confident we can continue to address the community’s needs and improve the health of Baton Rouge,” said Edgardo Tenreiro, CEO of Baton Rouge General.
“Improving maternal and infant health in Baton Rouge has been identified as a top priority this year. Unfortunately, local moms and babies have much worse health outcomes than the United States average,” said Dr. Barbara Griffith, President & CEO of Woman’s Hospital. “Moms are not getting the prenatal care they need, and babies are born prematurely at higher rates and in poorer health than babies across the country. If we can address why that is and work together to find a solution, I’m confident we can make a significant difference in the coming years.”
HealthyBR is seeking community feedback to identify and finalize the top four significant community health needs to be outlined within the 2021 CHNA. To submit feedback, visit the following link: https://tinyurl.com/CHNA2021.