Community Health Needs Assessment and Implementation Plan

2021 Community Health Needs Assessment

Fast facts:

  • The Affordable Care Act requires tax-exempt hospitals to complete the Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) process every three years.
  • The service area defined for purposes of the CHNA encompasses 225 ZIP codes in six Pennsylvania counties: Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon and Perry.
  • A Key Informant Survey was completed by 317 community leaders and stakeholders representing the broad interests of the community, including experts in public health and individuals representing medically underserved, low-income and minority populations.
  • A Community Member Survey was completed by 2,778 individuals, with 2,532 responses able to be used based upon county of residence and age.
  • An analysis of existing secondary data sources, including public health statistics, demographic and social measures and health care utilization was completed. 
  • Two Partner Forums, with representatives from diverse community-based and public health organizations, were held to gather insight on community health needs and foster collaboration toward community health improvement – the first forum hosted 112 participants and the second 103 participants 

Our Commitment to Community Health

Penn State Health is committed to understanding and addressing the health needs of the communities it serves. In order to best do that, the health system completed its 2021 Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA). For this fourth assessment cycle, Penn State Health formed a collective workgroup that included Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Penn State Health Holy Spirit Medical Center, Penn State Health St. Joseph Medical Center, Penn State Health Hampden Medical Center, Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute, Penn State Health Rehabilitation Hospital and key community stakeholders to identify and address the needs of residents living in Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon and Perry counties. Because Penn State Health Lancaster Medical Center was under construction during this assessment, this community was also included. The Department of Public Health Sciences at Penn State College of Medicine coordinated the CNHA efforts. By taking a systemwide approach to data collection and community health planning, Penn State Health will leverage system assets across the service area to address prioritized health needs. 

Prioritized Community Health Needs

Through multiple methods of community engagement, facilitated dialogue with community health experts and a series of criteria-based voting exercises, the most significant issues to focus systemwide health improvement efforts over the three-year cycle from July 1, 2022, to June 30, 2025 are:

  1. Mental Health
  2. Health Equity; and
  3. Wellness and Disease Prevention. 

Mental Health includes a focus on community groups, such as the LGBTQ+ community, people of color and youth. Substance use disorder will also be addressed under this priority. Health Equity covers concerns that include access to care, elder issues with access, social determinants of health, racism, diversity, transportation and housing. Wellness and Disease Prevention encompasses food access and nutrition, substance use prevention, chronic disease prevention, health education and physical activity. Everyone agreed that these priorities, and focus areas within, represent all six ranked health concerns, that all of these areas are very interrelated and one cannot be addressed without the other. 

Implementation Plan 

Partnering hospitals and community experts develop our three year Implementation Plan to coordinate our collective impact to address these priorities. Our goal is to improve health and reduce health disparities across our six-county region. 

Thank You 

We thank all of our community partners who joined us in these efforts. We look forward to continued partnership to strengthen our community together.

Ashley Visco 
Community Health Director 
Penn State Health and Penn State Health Milton S. Hershey Medical Center

Sister Mary Joseph Albright 
Vice President, Mission Integration
Penn State Health Holy Spirit Medical Center 

James Bennett 
Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Penn State Health St. Joseph Medical Center 

Don McKenna 
West Shore Region Hospital President
Penn State Health Hampden Medical Center and Penn State Health Holy Spirit Medical Center

Ruth Moore 
Director, Business Development and Admissions
Pennsylvania Psychiatric Institute 

Michelle Von Arx 
Chief Executive Officer 
Penn State Health Rehabilitation Hospital 

Additional Information and Feedback 

Please contact us at CHNA@pennstatehealth.psu.edu

  • If you have any questions, need accessibility accommodations, or would like to request a hard-copy version of any of our CHNA documents. 
  • For additional information about the CHNA and opportunities for collaboration.

Additional Documentation

2018 Community Health Needs Assessment

2012 Community Health Needs Assessment

Holy Spirit Medical Center Community Health Needs Assessment

Holy Spirit Medical Center joined Penn State Health on November 1, 2020. For more information regarding previous CHNAs, please contact CHNA@pennstatehealth.psu.edu.