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Community Benefits & Health Assessment

Each year, Harrington produces a Community Benefits Report, which highlights the previous fiscal year’s services, outreach and education to our most underserved populations. Our programs are a collaboration of medical services within Harrington, as well as outside organizations and businesses that share the desire to help educate the public, prevent chronic diseases and reduce health disparities.

Community Benefits and Statewide Health Initiatives
The Community Benefits Program is guided by certain health care priorities which are based on statewide needs identified by the Attorney General’s Office. These priorities have been updated in 2018 and align with the same four focus issues identified by the Executive Office of Health and Human Services and DPH in 2017 as significant statewide needs that
drive mortality, morbidity, and health care costs:

  1. Chronic Disease with a Focus on Cancer, Heart Disease and Diabetes
  2. Housing Stability/Homelessness
  3. Mental Illness and Mental Health
  4. Substance Use Disorders

Community Benefits Mission Statement

The mission of Harrington HealthCare is to build healthier communities by providing education and outreach for identified health deficits through collaborative initiatives and programs.

Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA)
Harrington completed its most recent CHNA in December 2019.

A 21-question online survey was distributed via email, social media, and meeting presentations to capture a snapshot of the community’s feelings toward the overall health and wellness of its neighboring towns. The survey focused both on each individual’s personal wellness habits and behaviors, as well as broader questions about community health and barriers to medical care.

Secondary data collection was also collected, including the US Census Data, National Cancer Registry, and internal hospital reporting on patient trends and Emergency Care diagnosis codes.

For the 2019 Community Benefits Report, click here.
For the 2019 Community Benefits Survey, click here.

Data Overview
The data collected from our CHNA covered a variety of topics, including general health, adolescent health, senior health and demographic information.

  • We collected 635 survey responses;
  • Responses skewed largely female at 88% (out of 608 responses);
  • 94.79% of participants selected their age as between 18 and 69 (out of 609 responses);
  • 46.82% of voluntary responses (581) selected over $75,000 for annual household income

Survey Findings
The top five zip codes in which respondents lived were Southbridge (143), Dudley (46), Sturbridge (41), Charlton (38) and Webster (41). Due to a large number of different responses for this question (a lot of suburban areas have unique zip codes), we grouped any zip code that appeared less than 3 times together in one “other’ bucket, which counted for 54 responses.

The survey asked individuals to identify their top health concerns across three main groups: Overall Community, Seniors and Youth/Adolescents. The top five answers per category are displayed below:

OVERALL HEALTH CONCERNS

Mental Illness/Depression
Substance Use/Addiction
Obesity
Diabetes
Smoking

SENIOR HEALTH CONCERNS

Alzheimer’s/Dementia
Diabetes
Heart Disease/Stroke
Depression/Mental Illness
Cancer

ADOLESCENT HEALTH CONCERNS

Depression/Mental Illness
Substance Use/Addiction
Bullying/Cyberbullying
Smoking
Teen Pregnancy

We also asked participants what changes they thought would make the most impact in improving the health of the overall community. The top five suggestions were:

  1. Better Access to Mental Health Services (62.85%)
  2. More or Better Recreational Facilities/Safe Places to Walk & Play (48.12%)
  3. Better Access to Healthier Food (46.32%)
  4. Better Access to Drug Rehab/Addiction Services (43.04%)
  5. More Job Opportunities (37.1%)

SECONDARY DATA
Based on diagnosis codes from Emergency Department visits year over year, Harrington has been able to summarize that an average of 7% of the patients seen in Harrington Emergency Care Centers have a Behavioral Health or Substance Use diagnosis.

In each of the past three years, Harrington Emergency Care Center staff has treated an average of eight patients per day with a Behavioral Health-related diagnosis; approximately 2,900 each year.