A federally-mandated provision of the Affordable Care Act is the requirement for nonprofit health care providers to conduct a community health needs assessment every three years. The purpose is to identify and measure the priorities of people served by HCM, according to John Phelps, Director of the HCM Wellness Center, and Coordinator of the Community Health Needs Assessment.

“This survey is so valuable because we are asking the community what are your health needs, how are we meeting those needs, and in what ways can we do it better,” Phelps said. “We cast a wide net and a focused net.”

The bulk of the survey will be conducted by telephone interviews with a random sample of 450 Gillespie County residents. The survey–to be conducted by Stratasan –begins in late July.

Other data will include:
    • Existing demographic data (birth rates, income, health factors)
    • Community surveys and conversations with representatives of related organizations
    • Input from health care professionals, including frontline staff and primary care providers

Any resident wishing to participate will also be able to connect to a web-based survey linked at www.surveymonkey.com/r/HillCountryCommunitySurvey.

After all data is collected, it will be analyzed to identify the top 10 health needs of the community. From that list, the HCM Stakeholders will prioritize at least three initiatives to take action on. Plans are for the final results to be posted to the public by the end of the year.

The survey is especially important this cycle, according Phelps.

“There are several questions about our covid response locally, and what our community did about a threat of this magnitude,” he said. “We as the community health care provider really want to get that answer.”

Phelps added this is not a marketing survey nor a solicitation for support.

“It is very important that we hear your voice, because this will help determine where we allocate our resources going forward. It is a chance for everyone in our community to be heard.”

For more information, call John Phelps at 830.990.6620.