Community Health Assessment and Strategic Planning for Bergen County, NJ, Hospitals and Public Health Collaborative

Dates: 2011-2013

State: New Jersey

Client(s): Bergen County Department of Health Services, Bergen County Stakeholders

Service: Health Care & Public Health Planning

Technical Expertise: State and Local Public Health

It is important that hospitals understand their surrounding communities to ensure that programs and services are responsive to the needs of the communities they serve, strengthen the existing health and social services system, and develop important community partnerships that will enable the hospitals to leverage community resources. This importance is underscored that the Affordable Care Act through the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) requires that every nonprofit hospital conduct a community health needs assessment every three years, with an emphasis toward those most in need and/or most at-risk.

JSI worked with the Bergen County Health Department and five hospitals in the county (Englewood Hospital and Medical Center, Hackensack University Medical Center, Holy Name Medical Center, Valley Hospitals and Christian Health Care) to conduct a comprehensive community health assessment and strategic planning.

JSI conducted a preliminary needs assessment and began community engagement activities. Using qualitative and quantitative research methods, JSI identified key themes and critical needs and developed practical strategies to address these needs. A final county-wide strategic plan was shared with the community and individual plans were formulated for each partnering hospital to enable them to fulfill their community benefit obligations and also support the County Health Department in achieving public health accreditation.