ESSENTIALS

United in Health

At United Way of Acadiana, we work every day to build a healthier and more resilient community by connecting our clients to needed resources and support systems. And through the United in Health initiative, we will be able to expand that work. United in Health, we will be able to develop strategically sound policy and work together to create new community-wide programs. United in Health, we will leverage our individual resources into collective solutions.

Community Health Needs Assessment

 

The Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) is just that – an “assessment” – that is required for nonprofit hospitals to conduct every three years. This assessment uses a combination of publicly available health data, professional and community interviews, as well as hospital input to help determine areas of focus for the hospitals to address to improve community health outcomes.

In late 2020, United Way of Acadiana approached Ochsner Lafayette General Hospital and Our Lady of Lourdes to conduct the triennial study.

The rationale was simple. The social determinants of health so often addressed by the health systems in the associated implementation plans (required following the assessment itself) were areas of work that United Way of Acadiana was approaching from the social services side. The community stood to benefit if the social services sector and the health sectors in our community could more closely communicate and align.

Following the initial conversations, the joint assessment covering the region was conducted successfully, with both health systems adopting the assessment in late 2021. That document can be found online on both hospitals’ websites as well as here on our website. 

That collaboration also planted the seeds to begin this breakfast. Addressing those social determinants of health that will lead to better community health outcomes is going to require close collaboration and coordination of many stakeholders, and this event is a start of how we might work together to address our most urgent health challenges.