Courtesy photo Discussion group participants at a focus group held at TLRMC in late April discuss community health issues for the local hospital to work on addressing over the next three years. Pictured are Trevor Ray, PharmD and TLRMC Board Chairman; Leitchfield Parks and Recreation Director Tammee Saltsman; Krissy Logsdon, BSN, RN; Dr. Luke Fife; Trina Daves, RN, BS, LNHA; Dr. Clinton Kaufman; and Marla Cantway, RN.

Courtesy photo

Discussion group participants at a focus group held at TLRMC in late April discuss community health issues for the local hospital to work on addressing over the next three years. Pictured are Trevor Ray, PharmD and TLRMC Board Chairman; Leitchfield Parks and Recreation Director Tammee Saltsman; Krissy Logsdon, BSN, RN; Dr. Luke Fife; Trina Daves, RN, BS, LNHA; Dr. Clinton Kaufman; and Marla Cantway, RN.

Staff Report

Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center this week released a list of Grayson County's top community health needs as identified through a recent survey conducted by the local hospital.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 requires non-profit, tax-exempt hospitals such as Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center to assess the healthcare needs of their communities every three years and to adopt an implementation strategy to address the needs identified. Each hospital must make its Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA, pronounced “China”) and Implementation Strategy widely available to the public.

After carefully considering the results of its Community Health Survey, the most recent health and demographic information available, and input from a Community Health Focus Group, the hospital identified the following needs as the community health focus points for Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center in 2019-2022: mental health; substance abuse; childhood health; and community health information.

The 2018 Community Health Needs Assessment was approved by the TLRMC Board of Directors on Tuesday, May 21.

In conducting the CHNA, non-profit hospitals such as Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center are required to take into account input from persons who represent the broad interests of the community served.

To do so, TLRMC developed a survey to gather health information and opinions of Grayson County residents 18 and over, and this survey was conducted in October and November of 2018 using an online survey tool and by distributing printed copies to an assisted living facility, the Grayson County Alliance food pantry, the Grayson County Health Department, Big Clifty Medical Complex, and the Caneyville Family Practice.

The full report is available in the About Us section of the hospital's website, www.tlrmc.com. Printed copies can also be obtained by calling 270-259-9588.

According to County Health Rankings 2018, a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, Grayson County ranked 71st out of 120 counties in Kentucky for Health Outcomes. In the 2019 County Health Rankings, Grayson ranked 78th.

Health Outcomes are based on an equal weighing of length and quality of life to identify how healthy a county is. The aforementioned rankings represent a drop from 53rd in 2013.

The population of Grayson County is slightly older than the Kentucky average, and the county is more than twice as rural as the average for the rest of the state. Grayson County has a lower percentage of people 25-plus who are graduates of high school or beyond, but the number of persons 25 and older with a Bachelor’s degree or higher is lower than the rest of the state (9.5 percent compared to 21.5 percent) and even lower when compared to the national percentage (28.8 percent).

Additionally, the number of children living in poverty in Grayson County is over twice as high as the country’s average as a whole.

TLRMC tabulated the results from its surveys and supplemented them with health statistics and demographic information. The hospital then invited representatives from a variety of backgrounds to participate in a community health focus group on April 23 of this year to review the survey results and provide recommendations for the hospital's Community Health Focus.

Professions represented in the focus group included physicians, school administrators, the local health department, a dietician, representatives from local industry, hospital board members, law enforcement, hospital leadership, and local government leaders.

After hearing the community’s health information and survey results, the larger group broke into several discussion groups before coming back together to list their recommendations on the core community health issues for the hospital to focus on over the next three years.

The publication of the CHNA report is another step to a healthier Grayson County, according to TLRMC Director of Planning & Marketing Bill Oldham.

He said the hospital intends for the contents of the report be used to inform Grayson County residents of what their fellow citizens think are the most important health issues in their community.

Additionally, TLRMC hopes this report will serve as a foundation to build lasting relationships between itself, its community partners, and the residents of Grayson County.

Oldham said that, while the hospital recognizes it does not have adequate resources to solve all problems identified, it hospital does have the obligation and ability to be the change leader where possible.

“We view this plan as providing guidance around how we, along with other area organizations, groups and agencies, can collaborate to improve the health and medical care available to the people of our community,” he said.

The hospital sees the report as a stepping stone to future studies of community health concerns, the enhancement of health services offered to the community, and the spark to create community partnerships that address the health needs of the community.

In order to addressing the prioritized needs, TLRMC will engage key internal and community partners. Customized strategies have also been developed and will be continued. The strategies include, but are not limited to, modifying polices, public and private; providing support, information and incentives; improving access; enhancing skills; and changing consequences.

Follow-up surveys will measure the success of each initiative and provide the next areas of focus for the hospital.

To put the 2012 and 2015 CHNA reports into action, Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center created the Population Health Committee. This group of people works on improving the health of the community guided by the Community Health Focus Points set in the 2012 CHNA and refocused based on the 2015 CHNA.

The Population Health Committee is made up of hospital employees, industrial leaders, the Grayson County Schools superintendent, registered dietitians, a pharmacist, a representative from the Kentucky Cancer Program, and a representative from the Grayson County Health Department. The Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center CEO chairs the committee.

The Population Health Committee meets monthly to discuss and implement plans on improving the health of the community.