AUGUST 2, 2022
NORMAL, IL- Addressing pervasive community health problems is a journey requiring the effort and commitment of many. Not surprisingly, the top three health areas most in need of community-based programs and services in McLean County are not once-and-done issues to address; they require an approach enabling immediate wins along the road to systemic change. The 2022 McLean County Community Health Needs Assessment indicates the need to maintain focus and momentum on three health areas where community-based health programs and services will make the most impact.
The three health needs selected by the McLean County Community Health Council to address in the 2023-2025 McLean County Community Health Improvement Plan are:
- Access to Care
- Behavioral Health (including mental health and substance abuse)
- Healthy Eating/Active Living (exercise, nutrition, obesity and food access/insecurity)
“Assessing community health needs and health improvement planning are core aspects of public health,” Jessica McKnight, administrator of McLean County Health Department states. “We are happy to be part of a partnership that prioritizes improving the health and wellbeing of all residents of McLean County, and we look forward to seeing how together this community can continue to achieve positive outcomes.”
The council will work to address these concerns collectively, with goals to improve:
Access to Care
Advance and advocate for equitable and affirming access to care and other resources, which address social
determinants of health, to improve the health and well-being of our diverse community by 2026.
Behavioral Health Support
Further equitable, inclusive, and integrated systemic community approaches to behavioral health and well-being for our diverse community by 2026.
Healthy Eating/Active Living
Promote equitable opportunities for healthy eating and active living to strengthen the health and well-being of our diverse community by 2026.
This fall, priority action teams begin development of the community health implementation plan to identify strategies and interventions to aid in achieving the goal
s identified for each of the three health priorities. Implementation of the new interventions begins in 2023.
“Meaningful and sustainable change takes time, we are not surprised that the top health needs remain unchanged, and we look forward to what can be gained by the continued momentum,” Sally Gambacorta, community health director at Carle BroMenn Medical Center and Carle Eureka Hospital says. “While much progress has been made and many improvements put in place, there is still more we can do collaboratively with our community partners and stakeholders to further improve access, programs and services in our community.”
“The focus on COVID can make it easy to forget about other health concerns,” said David A. Sharar, chief executive officer at Chestnut Health Systems. “In reality, disease processes that we have seen for several years are still out there and still impacting people’s well-being. Chestnut gladly lends its support to this Assessment and to efforts to improve community health.”
The McLean County Community Health Council is a group of 64 individuals from 43 organizations in the county representing public entities, faith-based and private organizations, social service organizations, health care facilities, law enforcement and city and regional planning.
The Executive Steering Committee of the McLean County Community Health Council is an innovative collaboration between the Carle BroMenn Medical Center, Chestnut Health Systems, McLean County Health Department and OSF HealthCare St. Joseph Medical Center. By collaborating on this project, these key health leaders can pool their resources to create a unified plan to address the county’s top three health priorities. All four organizations play a vital role in improving the health of McLean County residents and each strongly believes in the philosophy of collaboration.
“The community health needs assessment is a valuable process we take part in every three years,” Lynn Fulton, president of OSF HealthCare St. Joseph Medical Center says. “With the information it provides, we continue to collaborate with individuals and other organizations to transform health care by eliminating barriers, increasing access and delivering the right care at the right time and place in the right manner to achieve a healthier county.”
To read the full 2022 Community Health Needs Assessment and/or to make comments, please visit any of the participants’ websites:
Carle BroMenn Medical Center: https://carle.org/about-us/community-report-card
Chestnut Health Systems: https://www.chestnut.org/chestnut-family-health-center/data-reports/
McLean County Health Department: https://health.mcleancountyil.gov/112/Community-Health-Needs-Assessment-Health
OSF St. Joseph Medical Center: https://www.osfhealthcare.org/about/community-health/
2022 McLean County Community Health Lead Executive Steering Committee Members:
Carle BroMenn Medical Center: Sally Gambacorta, MS, MA, director, community health
Chestnut Health Systems: Dietra Kulicke, BS, vice president, Integrated Care, Chestnut Family Health Center
McLean County Health Department: Cathy Coverston Anderson, RN, BSN, SM, assistant administrator
and Luisa Gomez, BS, manager, Health Promotion Program
OSF HealthCare St. Joseph Medical Center: Erin Kennedy, BS, MS, manager, community health