In FY 2012, Bridgeport Hospital continued to work closely with a number of not-for-profit organizations supported efforts to create a healthier community through financial and in-kind services totaling nearly $88,000.
Community Health Needs Assessment – Bridgeport Hospital is one of the founding members of the Primary Care Action Group (PCAG), a coalition formed nearly 10 years ago that includes two community hospitals, five health departments/districts, three community health centers, state agencies, physicians and community organizations. In FY 2012, PCAG focused on developing a plan and starting the initial work for a Community Health Needs Assessment (CNHA). The assessment requires an analysis of major health needs in the hospital’s service area as well as a plan to address key findings.
The PCAG Community Health Needs Assessment subcommittee, which includes the PCAG members and all local town health departments in a successful community-wide collaboration, initiated the first phase of the CHNA by completing a comprehensive inventory of existing health status indicators and asset mapping. Health scorecards were completed for each town based on Healthy People 2020 benchmarks, data gaps were identified and a consultant was selected to assist with filling in the data gaps and leading the development of the resulting Community Health Improvement Plan. The consultant work plan for FY 2013 includes the development of a survey tool to be used for primary data collection, focus groups and key stakeholder interviews. Local PCAG representatives were also very involved at the state level to develop a state-wide approach community health needs assessments to facilitate future alignment across the State of Connecticut.
The 2012 efforts of the Primary Care Action Group are meant to complement and expand previous efforts including the 2010 Bridgeport Hospital-led review of past needs assessment reports, local, regional, state and national public health data and state hospital and other local provider data to identify the key health issues in the community. Where possible, data for insured patients was specifically compared to that of uninsured patients to identify differences. This data was also utilized by the City of Bridgeport to create specific questions for a 2011 assessment that resulted in the creation of fact sheets for priority areas including: obesity, chronic disease: diabetes and asthma, lead testing, issues related to children, homelessness, smoking and food insecurity.
Anti-Obesity Advocacy – Get Healthy CT, created two years ago, expanded its reach and impact this year. This coalition, which was formed by members of PCAG, launched a website to provide information about its mission and member organizations, as well as education and access to resources on how to eat healthy and be physically active. It applied for a CMS Innovations grant and a CDC Community transformation grant, and in April, created and disseminated a Healthy Eating Pledge to local organizations and businesses, asking them to agree to serve healthy foods at meetings. Over 50 organizations, including Bridgeport Hospital, businesses, non-profit organizations and churches, have signed the pledge and are serving healthier foods, which will help the community reduce obesity over time. A Physical Activity Pledge aimed at helping employers to encourage physical activity for their employees was implemented in September.
Volunteer Leadership on Community Boards – The Hospital also works collaboratively with many organizations within the Greater Bridgeport Area and provides expertise to the governing bodies of other organizations. As a result, the Hospital provided over $25,000 of in-kind support to organizations and coalitions such as the Primary Care Action Group, Get Healthy CT, Bridgeport Regional Business Council’s Health Care Council, Optimus Healthcare, Ronald McDonald House of CT, University of Connecticut Allied Health Advisory Board and VNS of Connecticut. Hospital employees also recruited volunteer walkers to help raise awareness and funds for the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society and the Southern Regional Sickle Cell Association. The events support research and patient education initiatives.