Community Health Needs Assessments Partner Highlight with Mark Twain Medical Center

ASR has a long history of conducting Community Health Needs Assessments (CHNA). This lends to expertise when working alongside hospitals for multiple reporting cycles, and often results in longitudinal data-driven knowledge of the region.  More than 90% of our partnerships are repeat clients or client referrals. We enjoy these lasting relationships as they not only allow us to build rapport, but also allow data to be comparable – apples to apples with a baseline established and a methodology that does not vary. A favorite CHNA partner is Dignity Health’s Mark Twain Medical Center (MTMC) in Calaveras County.  

"MTMC has proudly worked with ASR for many years. They have completed multiple Community Needs Assessments for our organization over the past ten years. Their dedication to the quality of work, and expertise for needs assessments and project facilitator has continuously exceeded the client’s expectation time and time again. ASR’s quality of work and the staff’s exceptional personalities demonstrates exceptional high ethics, and great character. They are truly a pleasure to work with."        -Nicki Stevens Manager, Marketing and Business Development of MTMC

We have now completed the second consecutive Needs Assessment for MTMC. The assessment content varies: The first was geared towards the California state requirements of SB 697, and the latest fulfills the ACA federal requirements as well as SB 697 requirements. The purpose of the 2017 CHNA was to identify and prioritize significant health needs of the community served by MTMC.  

 Calaveras County is a small, rural community with united and passionate stakeholders. One of the largest challenges of the area is the lack of data specific to that county. We used secondary data from sources like the California Healthy Kids Survey, CDC, and Central Sierra Continuum of Care Point-in-Time Homeless Census to complement primary data from local key informants.

Bob Diehl, CEO of MTMC, explains, "A CHNA is essentially a review of current health activities, status, resources, initiatives, gaps and limitations in the community.”. At ASR, we have in-depth knowledge of public health data. For CHNA’s we collect the most current year of data for each of the indicators and the four previous years to develop a trend line. We compare local county data with state and national data, where available or desirable.

Working with MTMC has been a great experience because their goals pair with our desire to go beyond the minimum requirements for nonprofit hospitals. MTMC and Calaveras County stakeholders are dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of their community. The ASR team brings a unique approach to our work with hospitals and needs assessments, in that our staff have a program perspective and community lens when gathering data and writing the report. We are not strictly academic. We highlight areas of need, show the impact of efforts with the goal of moving data to action, and track progress through time. 

The 2017 CHNA helped to establish and identify the health needs of Calaveras County and the population served by MTMC. The goal was to collectively gather community feedback, understand existing data and trends about health status, and prioritize the 14 local health needs identified. The priorities identified in the report guide MTMC’s current and future community health improvement programs and community benefit activities, as well as its collaborative efforts with other organizations that share a mission to improve health. For more information about our CHNA’s click here.