One June 9, 2016, Summit Health and Healthy Franklin County facilitated a community health summit on the 2015 Community Health Needs Assessment. 121 individuals attended the health summit, representing healthcare organizations, community organizations, education institutions, local government, and community representatives.
The health summit included four important presentations:
- Ann Spottswood, Director of Community Services for Summit Health provided an introduction to the Healthy Franklin County initiative and an overview of the CHNA process. Key points from Ann’s presentation included introduction of the Healthy Franklin County CHNA Leadership Team, and the work of the four Task Forces over the past three years and the systematic process used to identify the community health priorities for the next three years.
- Berwood Yost, Director of the Center for Opinion Research at Franklin and Marshall College, presented the primary data survey information, research on secondary data for the CHNA and the key findings of the data. All participants were provided with a written summary of the key data findings on the health needs of the community. Key findings of the Center’s research show that the most significant health risks in Franklin County relate to obesity and related behaviors of diet and exercise, mental health issues, and access to healthcare.
- Keynote presentation was provided by Mr. Mark Fenton, a national public health, planning and transportation consultant. Mark’s presentation discussed the importance of designing and building health communities from a policy perspective to enhance public health. Mark emphasized that obesity is caused by both physical inactivity and poor nutrition and that we need to design our communities so they have “stickiness.”
- An additional presentation was provided by Dr. Andy Mowen, Penn State University. Dr. Mowen presented the Pennsylvania Outdoor Recreation Plan and the research data linking public recreation and creating healthy communities. Andy stated that research shows having more parks and open space is associated with higher physical activity and lower BMI rates. Parks must be seen as critical to both societal needs and political agendas. A majority of Pennsylvania residents (77%) agree that parks, trails and open space are an essential part of our healthcare system.