Categorized | Health

Statewide study to guide health efforts

MEDIA RELEASE

Kaiser Permanente Hawaii has unveiled the first ever Hawaii Community Health Needs Assessment: Community Voices on Health. Hundreds of people, including elected officials, physicians, and community and public health advocates attended the unveiling at the State Capitol.

A health needs assessment compiles information about existing health issues and trends as well as resources within a community. This information can reveal disparities, gaps, prevalence of disease, and social and economic factors that create barriers to a community’s optimal health.

Community Voices on Health was commissioned by Kaiser Permanente Hawaii and includes information from health care experts, policy makers, and community members.

Hundreds of individuals and dozens of social service and public health organizations contributed data, feedback, and input.

“Thanks to the many contributions of our community partners, we’ve been able to provide a fairly comprehensive diagnosis of our state’s health infrastructure,” said Geoff Sewell, MD, executive medical director of the Hawaii Permanente Medical Group. “Understanding the underlying social and economic barriers to positive change is a critical step in helping to improve the health of our people and the communities in which we live.”

Individuals and organizations will be able to use the community health needs assessment as a repository of both research and perspectives on how to improve community health.

The findings and opportunities will help direct and prioritize outreach and intervention efforts to needy populations.

“Kaiser Permanente will use the health needs assessment to guide our community investment efforts to champion health in Hawaii,” said Janet Liang, Kaiser Permanente Hawaii president. “We hope that an event like this with policy leaders, public officials, and the business community will stimulate investment and innovative solutions for the health of our state.”

Featured speakers Sen. Josh Green (event co-sponsor), Robin Campaniano of the Ulupono Initiative, and Linda Rosen, MD, Hawaii State Department of Health, shared their hopes and visions for improving the health of Hawaii.

“Community Voices on Health can be seen as a call to action on the importance of working together to improve the health of our community in a way that helps sustain us all,” said Robin Campaniano, general partner of Ulupono Initiative. “At Ulupono, we focus on improving the quality of life for the people of Hawaii by working toward solutions that create more locally grown food, increase renewable energy, and reduce waste. And the global news reminds us why collaborating on these goals is more important than ever.”

The assessment is a rich repository of statistical and anecdotal data with major areas of focus including the following:

* Geographic areas where health disparities and gaps exist
* Generational and ethnic groups currently underserved or anticipating significant growth in future needs
* Healthy food and the need to make it more accessible
* Health care information, education, and knowledge sharing

To download a complete copy of Community Voices on Health, visit www.kp.org.

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