Community Health Needs Summit Displays Collaboration and Innovation
Collaborative approaches were on display as UHealth – University of Miami Health System hosted Mount Sinai Medical Center, Jackson Health System and Nicklaus Children’s Hospital to identify and address Miami-Dade County’s health needs during the 2023 Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) Summit.
The CHNA is an approach to identifying health needs and forms a foundation for targeted interventions. This year’s CHNA Summit also marked the first in-person meeting since the COVID-19 pandemic, with 120 individuals from 50 organizations highlighting collaboration, innovation and opportunities for future steps to bridge health gaps in the community.
“It is through the insights, experiences and unique perspectives of those in attendance that we can foster meaningful change and make a tangible difference in the lives of those we serve,” said Henri R. Ford, M.D., M.H.A., dean and chief academic officer of the Miller School of Medicine. “The breadth of knowledge and diverse backgrounds represented at this event are a testament to the collaborative spirit that drives our collective mission.”
Targeting Community Health Needs
Since 2013, UHealth has been part of the CHNA process, which occurs every three years. During this process, Miami-Dade County was selected by the health systems as the defined community for this CHNA cycle. Early steps in the CHNA process involve engaging partners and stakeholders, then collecting and analyzing data on the county’s most significant areas of need through focus groups, secondary data and surveys.
These results were presented at the CHNA Summit to create a baseline for immediate needs in the community, as the health systems announced nearly 30 health needs from the data collected. Members in the summit voted on 12 priority areas to focus on during this CHNA cycle, including access to health care, mental health and cancer as the leading health issues.
“The summit’s hospital leaders and community partners expressed a clear willingness to collaborate and work together on our most important community health topics,” said Aaron Snyder, chief strategy and transformation officer for the University of Miami. “As we move forward with developing a strategic plan, we can take meaningful steps toward it truly being a joint plan focused on outcomes we will all deliver together.”
Implementing a Community Health Plan
The four health systems will develop a CHNA plan this fall to tackle the 12 priority health issues in the community with input from UHealth stakeholders. Each health system has previously taken approaches to these issues, including UHealth and the Miller School by providing grants for community service health efforts and street medicine care. The health system further provides aid through the Pediatric Mobile Clinic and cancer screenings/education through Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center’s Game Changer vehicle.
“Since our health systems are already doing great work in the community, we are looking internally first to analyze our programs and see how we can expand on them to aid the county as a whole,” said Tamia Medina, community health program manager for UHealth. “Other ways we can help are by doubling down on an external program and collaborating with them through mutual partnerships.”
The CHNA plan is expected to be completed by January 2024, laying out the action steps to be taken by the health systems and community, with metrics serving as a vital plan component to maintain accountability and transparency.
With board approval, the CHNA plan will be posted online on the UHealth Community Health Improvement site.