Botsford to seek input via community needs assessment

Hospital looks to residents for areas of improvement on and off campus

By: Chris Jackett | Farmington Press | Published May 1, 2013

FARMINGTON HILLS — Botsford Hospital recently announced plans for a community needs assessment, with a focus on the thoughts of Farmington and Farmington Hills residents.

Via an Affordable Care Act provision, nonprofit hospitals — such as Botsford — must demonstrate the benefit they provide to the surrounding communities once every three years.

“We (were) really asked to demonstrate our community benefit through this community needs assessment,” said Dr. Paul LaCasse, Botsford president and CEO, during an April 15 presentation to the Farmington City Council.

LaCasse made a similar presentation to the Farmington Hills City Council April 8 alongside Vice-President of Community Relations, Marketing and Development Margo Gorchow.

“This may come under that large umbrella that is the Affordable (Care) Act, but it’s more moving towards a ‘health care’ system, as opposed to a ‘sick care’ system,” Gorchow said. “A healthy community includes things like safety, how many people have smoke alarms, do you feel safe going outside at night, (etc). Health is not just about the absence of disease.”

The needs assessment will be done primarily through focus groups and community surveys that will be mailed out.

“We’re about to send those invitations out,” Gorchow said. “We’re really the facilitators or the conveners. This is really a community-led effort.”

Farmington Councilwoman JoAnne McShane said she feels it is important for the hospital to make sure the needs assessment is inclusive of as many demographics as possible, including age, ethnicity, religion and more.

“I think its very important and seeking them out and bringing (multicultural groups) into the discussion,” McShane said.

Gorchow said a diverse committee is already being formed, and she praised efforts by outside groups for helping make the community healthier through efforts such as the F2H Fit Challenge, which is a Farmington and Farmington Hills initiative to help residents achieve better health through wellness and fitness programs.

“That’s a great example of the community making a change and an assessment,” Gorchow said.

Results of the community needs assessment are expected to be compiled by December, with any necessary changes being implemented beginning in 2014.