Statewide Community Health Needs Assessment Released


Survey of more than 6,400 Maine households yields in-depth report on how health status, use of health services, access and barriers to care affect the health of Maine people

BREWER, Me. (April 19, 2011) – OneMaine Health, a collaboration between Eastern Maine Healthcare Systems, MaineGeneral Health and MaineHealth, announced the release of Maine’s first comprehensive, statewide community health needs assessment. The three health systems will work closely with Maine hospitals and Healthy Maine Partnerships to host local forums to share the information, begin discussions and develop action plans based on the report’s findings.

The community health needs assessment examined health status, use of health services, access and barriers to care and other factors affecting the health of Maine people. The in-depth report will help communities make decisions about the future of healthcare and prevention in their areas by identifying how their communities compare to the state on many dimensions of health. The findings point out several major health issues facing Maine, including chronic disease burden (e.g. diabetes, heart disease and respiratory disease), cancer rates, levels of obesity, smoking and illicit drug use, and access to dental and mental health services.

Each health system has posted the full community health needs assessment report on its website (emhs.org, mainegeneral.org, mainehealth.org), along with reports showing information for county and health issue results. Numerous presentations are planned in communities across the state so healthcare providers, citizens, business and legislative leaders can learn first-hand about the report’s findings. Invitations to these presentations will be extended beginning in May. These sessions will also provide an opportunity to share thoughts about the future of healthcare in Maine and how to address local health issues.

OneMaine Health contracted with the University of New England's Center for Community and Public Health to conduct the community health needs assessment. The Muskie School and Market Decisions, Inc. helped complete the report. The community health needs assessment process included developing and analyzing a comprehensive health profile by county using data from a health survey of more than 6,400 households and Maine vital statistics, cancer registry and hospital and emergency department data.

In March, 2007 EMHS, MaineGeneral Health and MaineHealth developed the OneMaine Health Collaborative to produce cost savings, share information and collectively better understand Maine’s community health needs. While each system has previously offered its own individual community health needs assessment focused on its region, the larger OneMaine Health study provided an opportunity to lower costs and deliver timely and comprehensive statewide information.

View the community health needs assessment.

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