Baystate Health, Health New England to Host Community Benefits Forums

SPRINGFIELD Baystate Heath and Health New England (HNE) are hosting their first series of in-person Community Benefit Forums in partnership with their Community Benefits Advisory Councils.

Recognizing that the health of communities is critical to the individuals who live there and the vitality of the region as a whole, nonprofit hospitals across the country conduct Community Health Needs Assessments (CHNAs) every three years. The forums are the next step in the CHNA process. They follow Baystate’s CHNA team conducting health-needs assessments by engaging some 500 people in the communities served by the health system to better understand the challenges and forces at work throughout the region.

“It was a resource-intensive process but yielded critical qualitative data that will help us prioritize needs and identify new and build on existing strategies to address some of the needs identified,” said Annamarie Golden, director of Community Relations and Community Benefits at Baystate Health. “Ultimately, we’re looking to ensure that the services and resources we offer, as well as the investments we make with our limited resources, are meeting the needs of the communities we serve. Further, the specificity of the qualitative data allows us to tailor strategies for each of the communities we serve rather than apply a one-size-fits-all approach.”

The forums, designed to share CHNA findings with the community, include:

• Baystate Franklin Medical Center and HNE: Wednesday, Aug. 23, 1-3 p.m., at the John W. Olver Transit Center, 12 Olive St., Greenfield. Registration is required; click here to register.

• Baystate Noble Hospital and HNE: Thursday, Aug. 24, 1-3 p.m., at Westfield State University’s Scanlon Hall. Registration is required; click here to register.

• Baystate Medical Center and HNE, Tuesday, Sept. 26, 1-3 p.m., at Educare Springfield, 100 Hickory St., Springfield. Registration is required; click here to register.

The Baystate Wing Hospital and HNE forum took place in July at Palmer Public Library.

Each forum will include a presentation from Baystate and HNE executive leadership, the Public Health Institute of Western Massachusetts, and local voices advancing community health.

“The forums will provide multiple opportunities for those attending to connect with community organizations to learn more about local health and wellness efforts, receive key Baystate Health- and Health New England-specific updates, and to learn about CHNA outcomes and trends with an emphasis on youth mental health,” Golden said.