Community Health Assessments and Improvement Plans

The purpose of conducting a community health assessment is to describe the health of local people, identify areas for health improvement, identify use of local health care services, determine factors that contribute to health issues, identify and prioritize community needs, and help health care leaders identify potential actions to address the community’s health needs. Custer Health is required to do a community health assessment every five years in order to be eligible for accreditation. Critical Access Hospitals in the state must also conduct an assessment every three years, as mandated by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Custer Health and local hospitals identify community health needs through:

  • Community focus groups
  • Surveys
  • Interviews with community leaders
  • Health-related data

After identifying needs in the communities, stakeholders collaborated to develop community health improvement plans to address the prioritized needs determined through the assessments.

The following assessments were conducted as a collaborative effort with Custer Health and local Critical Access Hospitals:
Custer Health is part of a regional public health network with Kidder County District Health Unit and Emmons County Public Health. The following assessments were conducted as a collaborative effort through the regional public health network.

The North Dakota Department of Health conducted the following state health assessment:

Community Health Improvement Plans

Community Health Improvement Plans (CHIPs) are community roadmaps that lay out  long-term, strategic processes addressing public health issues based on the results of the community health assessments. Community health improvement planning is a community process that involves many different community members and partners. Custer Health went through two separate processes. A process was conducted for Mercer and Oliver Counties and then for Grant, Morton, and Sioux Counties. Both CHIPs highlighted the following three priorities as current issues that need to be addressed:

  1. Obesity
  2. Mental Health--Alcohol Abuse
  3. Tobacco Use

The two reports can be viewed below:

Contact Erin Ourada with questions.