SVMC Completes Community Health Needs Assessment
Ray Smith
/ Categories: NEWS, 2022, WELLNESS, 2022

SVMC Completes Community Health Needs Assessment

BENNINGTON, VT—February 25, 2022—Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC) has completed a comprehensive assessment of the health status and needs within the communities that it serves. Conducted every three years, the Community Health Needs Assessment process entails rigorous collection and analysis of data to identify the priority health needs of the region as determined by community members.


“It has been a true privilege for our health system to engage so meaningfully with our communities and to have received such a robust response from all corners of our service area,” said Caitlin Tilley, BSN, RN, director of the Transitions of Care at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center. “So many people were eager to share their vision for what will help them, their families, and their communities to be healthy.”


Community health and wellness data was gathered from a variety of sources, including a digital survey, a series of community forums, and secondary data sources, such as the United States Census Bureau and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


The process identified the following priority health needs, to be addressed over the next three years:

  1. Mental Health Supports
  2. Promotion of Healthy Behaviors and Primary Prevention Activities
  3. Accessibility of High-Quality, Convenient, and Affordable Care
  4. Substance Use Prevention, Harm Reduction, Treatment, and Recovery Resources.

Assessment results revealed that some populations are more likely to face negative outcomes relating to the social, environmental, economic determinants of health.


“The data clearly indicated that people of color, individuals aged 13 to 34 years old, and the LGBTQ+ population are facing modifiable health disparities relating to all four of the priority health needs,” Tilley said. “Our efforts to meet those needs in the coming years, while broadly focused across our entire service area, will additionally seek to address the unique challenges experienced by minority, marginalized, and vulnerable populations.”


The Community Health Needs Assessment process requires the completion of an Implementation Plan, a listing of potential projects that could be undertaken to address the health needs identified by the community. The document has been approved by Southwestern Vermont Health Care’s Board of Trustees.


“The needs identified are highly complex, but SVMC is well-positioned to develop methods and programs to rise to the challenge. In tandem with numerous community partners, SVMC will continue to deliver innovative solutions to improve the health care landscape, support healthy communities, and to provide exceptional care and comfort to the people we serve,” said Pam Duchene, SVHC’s chief nursing officer and vice president for Patient Care Services.


The Community Health Needs Assessment can be viewed in its entirety by visiting svhealthcare.org/communityhealth. Feedback regarding the process and final document are welcome and can be directed to wellness@svhealthcare.org.

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