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University, Georgia Health offer online resource
to help assess community health needs
February 17, 2012

Feb. 13, 2012
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact:
Laurie Ott, University Health Care System Vice President of Community Services, 706-828-2460
Christen Carter, Media Relations at Georgia Health Sciences Health System, 706-721-5733

University, Georgia Health offer online resource
to help assess community health needs

Augusta, GA — University Hospital and Georgia Health Sciences Medical Center are putting their fingers on the pulse of the community through a new Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) resource.

The system, available on the institutions’ consumer websites (www.universityhealth.org/cna and www.mcghealth.org), will assess health and quality-of-life issues in the Central Savannah River Area while addressing chronic disease management, according to Dr. Ketty Gonzalez, District Health Director of the Richmond County Health Department.

“Richmond County Health Department is excited with the project and of the possibilities ahead,” Gonzalez said. “It is through these partnerships and concerted efforts that we can improve the health and well-being of our community.”

The system, powered by the California-based Healthy Communities Institute, will include a dashboard with updates on indicators ranging from air quality to chronic diseases and cancer, searchable in categories such as health, economy, education, environment, public safety.

The data will enable University and GHSMC administrators and clinicians to develop plans to manage chronic diseases affecting local citizens, partnering with the East Central Health District and Richmond County Health Department.

University’s focus on chronic disease management builds on the success of Project Red, a program to reduce hospital readmission rates for patients with conditions such as congestive heart failure and respiratory disease.

“We’re excited about this project,” said James R. Davis, President and CEO of University Health Care System, “and we look forward to its use as we develop our disease management plan that will allow us to continue to address the health care needs of our community.”

As a regional healthcare provider, the project is also an opportunity to put a structure in place to consistently receive input from the community, according to David Hefner, CEO of Georgia Health Sciences Medical Center. “We hope to reinforce outreach efforts with the Greater Augusta Healthcare Network, comprised of area hospitals and faith-based clinics,” he said.

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