November 14, 2018
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Public forum to discuss Penobscot County Health Profile as part of Maine Shared Community Health Needs Assessment

Community Author: Karen Cashman
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Updated:

BANGOR — Stakeholders from across the county will be given an opportunity on Sept. 19 to shape priorities for community health at a special forum aimed at providing input to the region’s healthcare organizations.

The forum will discuss the Penobscot County Health Profile and is scheduled for Sept. 19, at St. Mary’s Church, 768 Ohio St. The Penobscot County Health Profile contains almost 200 data points that describe health outcomes, health behaviors, healthcare access and quality, and the social, community, and physical environment that affect our health. Previous forums were held in 2011 and 2015.

Doug Michael, Chief Community Health and Grants Officer, EMHS said, “We want to share these data and get our neighbors’ input about what they see as our biggest health issues. New this year, the presentation will also include a list of past priorities and what our partners have been doing to address them. This is an exciting opportunity to discuss how we can improve the health of our community.”

The event is free and open to the public. To reserve a seat, please register here https://survey.emhs.org/TakeSurvey.aspx?SurveyID=m4K3np66L.

In addition to collecting input on local health priorities, the forum will also collect information about local resources that could help to address those priorities. Forums and other community feedback will be used as guidance to create new, county-specific health improvement plans in the spring of 2019. As in the past, this forum is an important step in the Maine Shared Community Health Needs Assessment (Maine Shared CHNA).

The Maine Shared CHNA process will roll out in three stages:

  • County Health Profiles are scheduled to be released in the first week of September 2018.
  • Forums and other outreach are scheduled to be held between September 2018 and January 2019. This includes additional community presentations, conversations and other input.
  • Final CHNA reports are scheduled to be released in March 2019. These reports will include the County Health Profiles with a summary of the findings and other outreach.

For more information, go to the Maine Shared CHNA website (www.mainechna.org). The site contains forum schedules, local contacts, County Health Profiles, and a portal for users to create their own data reports to suit their needs. The website will also host the final CHNA reports due out in March, 2019. Check back often for updates.

This forum is a collaborative effort among Acadia Hospital, Bangor Public Health and Community Services, Charles A. Dean Memorial Hospital, Eastern Maine Medical Center, EMHS (EMHS to become Northern Light Health as of October 1, 2018), Health Access Network, Helping Hands with Heart, Mayo Regional Hospital, Millinocket Regional Hospital, Penobscot Community Health Care, Penobscot Valley Hospital, Penquis Public Health District Coordinating Council, Piscataquis Regional Food Center, Sebasticook Valley Health, St. Joseph Hospital, United Way of Eastern Maine.

The Maine Shared CHNA is a unique public-private statewide collaborative effort including these local partners and is supported by Central Maine Healthcare, EMHS (EMHS to become Northern Light on October 1, 2018), MaineGeneral Health, MaineHealth, and the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services (Maine CDC). Funding for the Maine Shared CHNA is provided by the partnering healthcare systems with generous in-kind support from the Maine CDC and our community partners.