Central Florida Health (CFH) recently released its Community Health Needs Assessment as part of the organization’s efforts to improve the health and wellness of the communities it serves.
Because CFH operates separate hospitals that serve both Leesburg and The Villages, independent assessments were done for each community. The focus of the assessment in the Leesburg area was North Lake County and the focus of the assessment in The Villages area was Sumter and South Marion County.
Developed in partnership with WellFlorida Council, the assessments were built using data, research, community surveys and comments collected from community leaders in Lake, Sumter and south Marion counties.
“A Community Health Needs Assessment provides a starting point for our organization to ensure that we have the information needed to provide community benefits that meet the needs of local area residents,” says Don Henderson, President and CEO of Central Florida Health. “The assessments point out opportunities to improve the coordination of hospitals’ community benefits with other efforts to improve community health.”
The assessments identified several key areas for improvement. These include:
- A shortage of health services, specifically for mental health and specialty care.
- Adult obesity, poor eating habits and physical inactivity.
- Improper use of emergency care – emergency rooms are overused in place of regular healthcare.
“We will develop a three-year implementation plan to address these needs in a significant way,” continues Henderson. “The full reports and plans for Leesburg Regional Medical Center and The Villages® Regional Hospital will be published on our website.”
WellFlorida Council, Inc. is the local health council for North Central Florida and consultants for statewide health related causes. They partnered with Central Florida Health in 2013 to conduct its first community health needs assessment. Since that time, Central Florida Health has addressed many of the health concerns raised at that time, such as heart disease, stroke and cancer related disease states.