Community members in Sanders County may have received a Health Needs Assessment Survey in their mailbox last week. The survey was sent to a random sample of homes to help Clark Fork Valley Hospital (CFVH) identify essential health services needed in Sanders County. The information will be used for strategic planning, grant applications, new program development and by community groups interested in addressing rural health issues.
The National Rural Health Resource Center of Duluth, Minnesota and the Montana Office of Rural Health are assisting CFVH in the analysis of the survey that includes information pertaining to local community needs, use of local healthcare services and overall community health. Ultimately, the process was developed to maintain quality healthcare and to meet the continuing and future needs of the communities in question.
“We are pleased to be able to bring some of the best community health resources in the country to Clark Fork Valley Hospital. The goal of this initiative is to assist forward-thinking rural hospitals and communities in aligning their resources, to address their present and future needs in the best way possible,” said Terry Hill, Executive Director of the National Rural Health Resource Center.
The community health needs assessment process promotes healthcare as a local affair. Healthcare delivered in rural communities is affordable, high quality and necessary to the overall good health of the entire community. Citizens of rural areas can take responsibility for the health of their community by completing the survey they received in the mail. Most communities face a large number of complex issues in providing high quality healthcare, but fortunately, CFVH can engage effective problem-solving, which is the most important factor in the survival of rural health services.
An accompanying goal of this process is to keep healthcare dollars within the local community. While the vast majority of healthcare can be provided locally, rural citizens often drive to large medical centers for care, spending money on healthcare and non-healthcare purchases that could be spent locally. It is estimated that within a typical rural community, millions of dollars of revenue is lost in this way. This revenue could be retained in the local community with stronger community- health care provider linkages.
“This is a tremendous opportunity for individuals to participate in to ensure our communities are great places to live. We are excited that local residents will have the opportunity to identify the most important health needs in Sanders County and we look forward to using the information as Clark Fork Valley Hospital sets its strategic plan for the coming years,” comments Dr. Gregory Hanson, CFVH President/CEO.
CFVH’s services are vast and include everything from 24 hour emergency services to cardiopulmonary heart care and extensive rehabilitation and surgical service programs. Additional services are offered by a network of specialty care providers to keep essential medical care closer to home, family and friends.
For more information on Clark Fork Valley Hospital and current services, please visit www.cfvh.org.