Leaning Into Collaboration:
A Multi County Approach to Improving Health
BayCare Health System
Six area hospitals and four county health departments partnered with the community to create a comprehensive survey to address the health needs of the Greater Tampa Bay area.
Although the Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) is a requirement for every non-profit hospital and health department, health care providers in Pasco, Pinellas, Polk and Hillsborough counties had previously worked independently on them. For this CHNA cycle, non-profit hospitals and health departments joined to create a more comprehensive regional survey with a collective agenda, communication, strategies and success measures. Partners included Advent Health, BayCare Health System, Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital, Lakeland Regional Health, Moffitt Cancer Center, Tampa General Hospital and county health departments in the four counties. Creating an environment of trust, communication and transparency was essential to aligning partners behind a common goal.
The 2019 CHNA surveyed residents on nutrition, physical activity, access to care and mental health. Partners agreed to a single prioritization process to be conducted in each county. An in-depth, valid and relevant survey tool was designed to capture perceptions of health and community. At each half-day prioritization event, community members were presented the data findings and asked to identify the most pressing health needs of their county. Partners left the exercise with the same list of prioritized health needs, allowing everyone to develop plans more effectively and focus resources appropriately.
The survey yielded robust data. With more than 19,500 responses, some counties saw a 2,000 percent increase in responses from the prior CHNA cycle. Additionally, all public information officers disseminated the same press release, which resulted in multiple media opportunities and community recognition.
Of the 11 top priorities identified, behavioral health has been selected as the focus area to drive community benefit work for the 2020-2022 CHNA cycle. Additionally, a comprehensive evaluation of the collaboration will take place to provide support and lessons learned to other communities.