Top Health Needs and Locations in Virginia

Every three years, hospitals and public health agencies gather information about community health needs through community health needs assessments (CHNA). They use the information as a basis for allocating resources to address community needs. Traditionally, each CHNA (73) functioned as a stand-alone document. To assist communities to work together to solve common issues, the Virginia Health Care Foundation (VHCF) and VHHA cosponsored a study of CHNAs to catalog community issues and develop strategies for addressing them. It seems evident that the most common health issue in need of attention is obesity. Sixty four CHNAs (88 percent) listed obesity as a concern. Behavioral and mental health conditions were the next most frequently identified area of need. (The chart below labeled Figure 1 lists the 10 most frequently identified health issues in Virginia as identified by CHNAs.) The distribution of the most frequently identified health issues is not uniform across the state. The Three Rivers and Chickahominy Health Districts have a greater concentration of the top 10 identified health issues (see Figure 2). When the locales are mapped to counties (see Figure 3), it appears that the area of the state with the greatest concentration of top 10 health issues is Hampton Roads. (12/18)