Piedmont Newnan working on community health assessment

Portions of a recent health assessment conducted by Piedmont Newnan Hospital will be included in a final product designed to provide a better understanding of the health challenges facing the Coweta County community and to identify the best ways to respond to those challenges. The study identified a host of factors that will be used to establish and implement a plan to meet the community’s healthcare needs.

Piedmont Newnan Hospital is currently undergoing its community health needs assessment (CHNA) to better understand the health challenges facing its community of Coweta County and its surrounding areas, Piedmont officials said. Following a federal requirement to conduct a CHNA at least once every three years, the assessment is both the activity and product of identifying and prioritizing a community’s health needs, accomplished through the collection and analysis of data, including input from community stakeholders. It then informs the development of strategies and plans to address prioritized needs with the goal of bettering community health, the report said.

Pertaining to health findings, the assessment determined that the 10 leading causes of age-adjusted death were heart disease, cancer, cerebrovascular disease, chronic lower respiratory disease, unintentional injuries, Alzheimer’s disease, influenza and pneumonia, nephritis, nephrotic syndrome and nephrosis, diabetes and septicemia.

Pertaining to the leading causes of premature death, those included cancer, unintentional injuries, heart disease, suicide, certain conditions originating in the perinatal period, cerebrovascular diseases, chronic lower respiratory diseases, assault (homicide), diabetes and Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV).

Findings in the assessment noted that Coweta’s median income is $10,000 above the state average at $61,550, 80 percent of residents had health insurance, 84 percent of residents graduated high school, 30 percent of school-age children qualify for free lunches and the average Coweta resident lived to age 76 in 2009.

A number of priorities came out of the assessment. Those included access to needed care in appropriate settings, combating obesity, addressing heart disease and helping reduce preventable readmissions and emergency department re-encounters.

To continue with the CHMA effort, Piedmont Newnan will finalize the priorities, create an implementation plan, present the plan to the hospital board, create a community benefit oversight committee, establish a budget for the implementation plan, create specific project plans, publicly disclose the full assessment and implementation plan and, in a final step, begin work to implement the plan.

To assemble the survey results the hospital’s CHNA began with a review of publicly available health and socioeconomic data. The primary sources for the assessment included the U.S. Census, U.S. Health and Human Services’ Community Health Status Indicators, county health rankings and the Georgia Online Analytical Statistical Information System (OASIS). Additionally, stakeholders were engaged during this process, including seven low-income and uninsured patients who self-identified as having utilized Piedmont Newnan Hospital for care within the last 12 months. Additional stakeholders included elected officials, public safety officials, public health representatives, representatives from social service agencies and other community leaders.