Assessing Community Needs, Improving Health
The Healthy Columbia Willamette Collaborative is a unique public-private partnership of 12 organizations in Clark County, Washington, and Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties in Oregon.
HCWC is dedicated to advancing health equity in the quad-county region. It serves as a platform for collaboration around health improvement plans and activities that leverage collective resources to improve the health and well-being of local communities.
Comagine Health served as the convener for the Collaborative.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a community health needs assessment?
A community health needs assessment is an analysis of community health needs and assets. It is performed by examining population health data and seeking community input.
The federal Affordable Care Act, Section 501(r)(3) requires tax-exempt hospital facilities to conduct a CHNA at minimum once every three years, effective for tax years beginning after March 2012.
Through the Public Health Accreditation Board, local public health agencies now may achieve accreditation by meeting a set of standards. As part of the standards, they must complete a community health assessment and a Community Health Improvement Plan.
Coordinated care organizations serving the three counties in Oregon are required to meet Oregon Administrative Rules and Oregon Health Authority guidelines pertaining to the development of CHAs and CHIPs.
- What is the Healthy Columbia Willamette Collaborative?
The Healthy Columbia Willamette Collaborative is a large public-private partnership of 15 hospitals, four local public health agencies and two coordinated care organizations in Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington counties of Oregon and Clark County, Washington.
Members include: Adventist Medical Center, Clackamas County Public Health Division, Clark County Public Health, Health Share of Oregon, Kaiser Sunnyside Medical Center, Kaiser Westside Medical Center, Legacy Emanuel Medical Center, Legacy Good Samaritan Medical Center, Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center Legacy Mount Hood Medical Center, Legacy Salmon Creek Medical Center, Multnomah County Health Department, Oregon Health & Science University, PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, Providence Milwaukie Hospital, Providence Portland Medical Center, Providence St. Vincent Medical Center, Providence Willamette Falls Medical Center, Tuality Healthcare, and Washington County Public Health Division.
- How did the project originate?
In 2010, local health care and public health leaders began to discuss the upcoming need for several community health assessments and health improvement plans within the quad-county region in response to the Affordable Care Act and Public Health Accreditation. They recognized that the most efficient and effective approach would be to create a work group responsible for conducting a regionwide community health assessment. With startup assistance from the Oregon Association of Hospitals and Health Systems, the Healthy Columbia Willamette Collaborative Leadership Group was developed.
In June 2013, Health Share of Oregon, the coordinated care organization serving the three counties in Oregon, joined HCWC in response to Oregon Administrative Rules and Oregon Health Authority guidelines pertaining to community health assessment and health improvement plans.
- What are the vision and purpose of the Healthy Columbia Willamette Collaborative?
Assessing community needs, improving health
HCWC conducts community health needs assessments that inform health improvement plans of the participating hospitals, coordinated care organization and local public health authorities. These assessments are conducted every three years, with the most recent assessment completed July 2019.
This unified and comprehensive approach assesses the health needs of all community members to inform the health improvement plans of the participating organizations. It aims to eliminate duplicative efforts, prioritize needs, and enable collaborative efforts in implementing and tracking improvement activities. This collaborative approach enables the creation of an effective, sustainable process; stronger relationships between communities, CCOs, hospitals and public health; meaningful community health needs assessments; and results in a platform for collaboration around health improvement plans and activities that leverage collective resources to improve the health and well-being of the communities.
- What assessment model does HCWC use?
HCWC uses a modified version of the Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships assessment model. The MAPP model uses health data and community input to identify the most important community health issues. HCWC refined this model by conducting the assessment simultaneously, allowing the health data and community input to inform each other.
- How does HCWC use the findings from its assessments?
Member organizations have incorporated HCWC's assessments into their individual community health needs assessments and Community Health Improvement Plans.
- How are community members involved?
The Data Workgroup invited community members to participate as full members in the creation of the 2019 CHNA. Community members were vital assets to the group, providing invaluable insights. In addition, HCWC hosted four town halls and 18 listening sessions where more than 200 community members, leaders, and community-based organization staff provided input that was analyzed and included in the CHNA findings.
- Is HCWC focusing on health disparities?
The Healthy Columbia Willamette Collaborative is committed to addressing health disparities and working with communities who are experiencing them. All phases of community engagement completed to date have built on information learned from vulnerable communities.
- Are the community health needs assessment reports available to the public?
- Who can I contact for more information about the reports or the Collaborative?
- Kaiser Permanente: Community.Benefit@kp.org
- Providence Health and Services: ProvidenceORCommunity.HealthDivision@providence.org
- Health Share of Oregon: email@example.com