Cherokee Indian Hospital has partnered with WNC Healthy Impact, an initiative designed to improve community health. This partnership was initiated in November 2011, and is one of only a few in North Carolina and the country taking a regional approach. The partnership is currently gathering data to understand our community’s health status. This information will help determine high priority health issues through a community health assessment process.
Hospitals and health departments in WNC have partnered for years on improving health, they are exploring new ways to improve efficiency, consistency, and collaboration while meeting agency assessment and planning requirements. There is now an additional Federal requirement of non-profit hospitals that they must demonstrate the allocation of community benefit dollars according to high priority community health needs. Hospital and health department leaders see this as an opportunity to work together even more closely than they have done in the past.
Identifying the community’s perception of their health and issues impacting health is valuable information in planning activities. This study will help avoid preventable medical conditions and focus on healthy living for our community.
In addition to pulling together existing health related data, WNC Healthy Impact is contracting to conduct a community health survey, by phone to a random sample, in all 16 counties, including the Qualla Boundary. This survey will start toward the end of May and continue through July. Updated health assessment findings will be available for communities by the end of the year. Cherokee Indian Hospital invites and encourages community members to be involved in this important effort.
“We encourage anyone receiving a call from a surveyor to participate,” says Casey Cooper, CEO of Cherokee Indian Hospital. “We need to hear about the health concerns and priorities from our community. This process, including the survey, will help improve the health of our community in the future.”
– Cherokee Indian Hospital