Bayview seeks public input
Wednesday, 17 October 2012 11:45

The Community Health Needs Assessment Forum will be held on the campus of the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center on Oct. 23.
photo by Roland Dorsey

Health needs forum slated for Oct. 23

by Nicole Rodman

Since 1996, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center has conducted a periodic public survey known as the Community  Health Needs Assessment.
    As part of this assessment, hospital staff study statistics and conduct surveys to determine the best way to meet the health needs of residents in the surrounding area.
    As in years past, this year’s assessment will focus on four zip codes — 21224, 21222, 21219 and 21052 — comprising southeastern Baltimore City and the Dundalk-Edgemere peninsular region, including Fort Howard.
    According to Bayview’s director of community relations, Gayle Adams, “the purpose of the assessment is to try to take a broad look at health indicators in the community” and obtain feedback from community leaders regarding the health needs of the area.
    While Bayview has conducted previous Community Health Needs Assessments in 1996 and 2004, new regulations put in place by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) state that the assessment must now be done every three years.
    As Adams noted during a phone interview last week, the new IRS regulations were put in place to ensure that non-profit, tax-exempt hospitals like Bayview are contributing tangible benefits to the community.
    “It is an attempt to hold hospitals accountable,” Adams explained, adding, “Although we think [the assessment] is important anyway.”
    As per IRS guidelines, Bayview has one fiscal year to complete the Community Health Needs Assessment.
    As Adams points out, work on the assessment began this past July with a study of all of the available statistical data for the area.
    Data examined includes birth and death rates, as well as major causes of death across the region.
    The study also takes into account prevalent diseases and health concerns in residents of the area.
    As Adams explained last week, Bayview has just about completed this part of the assessment.
    The hospital hopes to have all of this information compiled in time for the assessment’s steering committee to meet on Nov. 1.
    The steering committee is made up of hospital personnel and community leaders from across the area.
    Once the information is compiled, the next step is to survey members of the community.
    To this end, Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center will hold a Community Health Needs Assessment Forum on Tuesday, Oct. 23, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.
    The event will be free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.
    The forum will be held in the Johns Hopkins Asthma & Allergy Center Auditorium on the Johns Hopkins Bayview campus, 5501 Hopkins Bayview Circle.
    During the meeting, residents and community leaders will get the chance to provide feedback regarding health issues and treatment options.
    As Adams noted, “anyone who is interested in trying to address a particular health concern” is encouraged to attend.
    Attendees will also get the opportunity to hear about the state of the Bayview campus from director Dr. Richard G. Bennett and meet members of the Bayview administration.
    Once Bayview staff have compiled all of the survey data, they will prepare a final Community Health Needs Assessment report.         This information will be posted online for public information no later than June, 2013.
    In the meantime, all are encouraged to give their input at the Community Health Needs Assessment Forum at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center on Tuesday, Oct. 23.
    Those attending are asked to RSVP so that organizers can purchase refreshments.
    For more information, call the Bayview Community Relations Department at 410-550-0289.