Community Health Needs Assessment

The Community Health Services Development (CHSD) project is a community health needs assessment process that helps Montana Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) engage members of their rural community, identify and measure the community’s health needs, recognize potential gaps in healthcare services, and develop specific strategies to prioritize and address the health needs that were identified during the CHSD process.

CHSD involves a steering committee to actively engage community members, a random sample mailed survey, local focus groups and key informant interviews, and an implementation planning process with the hospital’s leadership team. In recent years, the CHSD process has been modified to comply with the IRS 990 Schedule H requirements for CAHs to provide community benefit to their service area. To date, over 40 communities in Montana have used the CHSD process to conduct a community health needs assessment to inform their hospitals’ community benefit plan and improve the overall health of their community.

Objectives

  • Engage community members in the health of their rural communities.
  • Gather real-time information about rural health in Montana.
  • Identify specific priorities of health needs and access to services for rural communities in Montana.
  • Help Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) fulfill IRS 990 Schedule H reporting requirements to develop a community benefit plan and maintain nonprofit, tax-exempt status.

List of Montana’s Critical Access Hospitals
Assessment & Implementation Tools
CHNA Statewide Outcomes