Seeking input from area residents about community ‘s health needs

In an effort to gauge the overall health needs of the area, West River Health Services will survey area residents until October 15. Results of the survey will provide guidance on better ways to address area health care needs.  WRHS is receiving assistance in conducting the assessment from the Center for Rural Health at the University of North Dakota School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

Surveys will be distributed to area residents through various channels, including through WRHS Clinics and community groups.  Residents may access an interactive, online version of the survey at Written copies are available by calling WRHS at 701-567-6183.  All survey responses are anonymous, and there is no way to track responses back to individuals.  Survey responses are returned to the Center for Rural Health to help ensure anonymity.  A postage-paid return envelope is included with each written survey.

The survey will allow local providers to learn of the community’s awareness of local health care services being provided, hear suggestions and help identify any gaps in services, learn about community health and other concerns, and determine preferences for using local health care versus traveling to other facilities.  In addition to specific questions, the survey also seeks general, open-ended input from residents about the community’s health needs and the delivery of local health care.  Completing the survey takes about 20 to 25 minutes.   

A periodic community needs assessment is one of the requirements of the [Affordable Care Act/Public Health Accreditation Board Standards].  [The cost of the survey is covered by the Medicare Rural Hospital Flexibility (Flex) Grant Program, a project of the Center for Rural Health.  The Flex Program is a state-based partnership that works with and assists all rural hospitals to stabilize and sustain their local health care infrastructure.