It’s that time of year, well, it’s that time of year every THREE years! Where the folks at North Country Hospital (NCH) get excited to invite you to participate in the Community Health Needs Assessment. This unique opportunity is an important time to benchmark your input and is crucial in shaping the health and wellness initiatives that will benefit our community. By sharing your thoughts and experiences, you can help identify the areas that require attention and improvement to enhance the overall well-being of our community. Once again we hope you will take the invitation to, “Tell us what you think!”

The health and wellness of a community are influenced by a multitude of factors, including socioeconomic status, access to healthcare services, environmental conditions, education levels, cultural norms, and individual behaviors. These factors interact in complex ways to determine the overall health outcomes of a population. However, none of these factors matter, if we don’t know the truth of how YOU think about them. Do they matter to you? Do you find that you have access to the services you need when you need them? Can you get there? These are all important questions that we want answers to!

Various individuals and groups within the community play essential roles in promoting population health. Healthcare providers, local government agencies, schools, businesses, non-profit organizations, faith-based groups, and community members all contribute to creating a healthy environment. Even you, because how you respond will impact how many of these partners plan for the years ahead. Collaboration among these stakeholders is vital for implementing effective health interventions and programs. At NCH in particular, we use the outcomes from these surveys for our strategic planning, vision-making, and goals for the future.

Thanks to the Community Health Needs Assessments conducted by NCH in 2012, 2015, 2018, and 2021, we have gained valuable insights into the health needs of our community. These assessments involved surveys distributed across Orleans and Northern Essex counties to gather feedback on personal health perceptions, community health issues, and available healthcare services. Each year the results of these assessments have highlighted areas where improvements are needed to address prevalent health concerns such as high-risk behaviors, obesity rates, and cancer awareness within our community. While these findings may seem daunting, they also present opportunities for positive change through collective action. They have been the driving force in supporting efforts around our Emergency Department Expansion, the Health Care Shares and VeggieVanGo programs, increased services in our clinics, and many other programs that help to increase the access to care for our community members.

We believe that each one of us has the power to make a difference in improving our health and well-being. However, together, as a community, we can be unstoppable. We saw this in full effect as we welcomed so many thousands over the weekend for the amazing eclipse. If we can ebb and flow for the visitors, we can certainly ebb and flow for each other and even ourselves! We may just learn that simple lifestyle changes such as adopting healthier eating habits, increasing physical activity levels, seeking preventive care, and engaging in community wellness programs can collectively contribute to enhancing the overall health of our community!

By accepting our invitation to participate in the upcoming Community Health Needs Assessment Survey and actively engaging in initiatives aimed at promoting better health outcomes, we can work together toward building a healthier and more resilient community for all. Thank you in advance for your participation and commitment to improving the well-being of our community, we look forward to reading what you have to say, as you tell us what you think!


Mary Hoadley

Director Of The Wellness Center