LAS VEGAS – Intermountain Health today releases its first Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) report for southern Nevada, providing extensive details about local health status, needs, and assets that allow the not-for-profit health system to inform and identify key local area health priorities. For the assessment, Intermountain Health engaged organizations representing a broad range of interests in the southern Nevada community. Participants gave in-depth interviews to share their perspectives on health needs to help prioritize Intermountain Health’s work to collaborate with others in improving community health.
The outcomes found through the process for the 2022 CHNA report identify three categories of health needs that rise to the top: improve mental well-being, improve chronic and avoidable health outcomes, and address and invest in social determinants of health.
“Our mission, helping people live the healthiest lives possible, is best realized with a comprehensive understanding of the communities we serve,” said Mitchell Cloward, President of Intermountain Health’s Desert Region, which includes Nevada and southwest Utah. “We are grateful for the input we received through collaboration with our many community partners named in this report. Coupled with quantitative data on health indicators and data prioritization to identify significant gaps, we are developing strategies to work together to address those needs.”
Intermountain Health has conducted community health needs assessments as a system since 2009. After gathering data and information and identifying health disparities in each report, implementation strategies are developed, and progress is reported publicly. Marking a significant milestone, Intermountain Health completed its first CHNA specifically tailored for Nevada since expanding into the state in 2019.
“This CHNA identified behavioral health conditions and frequent mental distress as the most significant public health concerns among community leaders in Nevada, especially for youth,” said Lisa Nichols, Vice President of Community Health for Intermountain Health. “Community needs also include medical conditions and the social and environmental conditions that influence health, such as housing and economic opportunity. By strengthening the social determinants of health, we help set the framework for healthy lives. Understanding community input and health indicators is essential to prioritizing health needs and creating meaningful implementation plans.”
The report includes the perspectives of underrepresented, medically underserved, low-income, and minority populations and the organizations that advocate for them. Seven significant health concerns are listed in order of perceived significance:
- Mental health for adults and children includes concerns about children being isolated during COVID-related remote learning and lacking general mental health support at home or school. In addition, there was a clear need for more crisis care, inpatient care, and outpatient treatment, with a need to focus on upstream prevention and adverse childhood experiences/trauma.
- Substance use and misuse in adults and children, the most notable concern being alcohol use.
- Access to, and trust in, affordable healthcare, particularly for underrepresented communities. There was a noted lack of primary care/pediatric and behavioral health providers and concern that specialty care for children generally had to be sought out of state.
- Lack of affordable, safe, and quality housing, especially near healthcare providers.
- Managing and preventing chronic disease, predominantly obesity and obesity-related chronic illnesses.
- Suicide. While Nevada slowed its teen suicide rates in recent years, the state remains 15th highest in the nation for death by suicide and is ranked 51st in youth mental health measures, indicating high mental health needs and low access to care.
Intermountain Health will use the CHNA information to collaborate with community stakeholders to create a comprehensive Community Health Implementation Plan (CHIP). These initiatives and strategies will be published and tracked over time to ensure they are followed to completion. Intermountain Health is looking to:
- Continue efforts to understand the community’s needs and structure Intermountain Health services to address those needs.
- Ensure financial assistance for low-income and medically underserved patients.
- Use Intermountain Health philanthropy to support aligned needs.
Please visit this website to learn more about Intermountain Health’s CHNA reports and CHIPs.