2018 Hendricks County CHA:
Conclusions + Improvement Plan

Further Conclusions

Focus-Leader Meeting 

(Directly quoted from the IU Health West Hospital Community Health Needs Assessment)

"On July 24, 2018, a meeting of community representatives was held at the IU Health West Hospital in Avon, which is part of Hendricks County. The meeting was attended by 15 community members invited by IU Health because they represent important community organizations and sectors such as: local health departments, police/fire departments, non-profit organizations, business community, health care providers, local policymakers, faith-based organizations, and schools. Through this meeting, IU Health sought a breadth of perspectives on the community’s health based. The specific organizations represented at the meeting are listed below:

American Lung Association, Hendricks County Substance Abuse Task Force, Avon Community School Corporation, Hendricks County Tobacco Free Coalition, Avon Washington Township Fire Department, Hendricks Regional Health, Franciscan Alliance, IU Health West Hospital, HOPE Healthcare Services, Indiana Youth Institute/Kids Count, Hendricks County Health Department, Mental Health America of Hendricks County, Hendricks County Senior Services, Susie’s Place

The meeting was requested by IU Health to obtain community input into the community’s health needs. The session began with a presentation that discussed the goals and status of the CHNA process and the purpose of the community meeting. Then, secondary data were presented, along with a summary of the most “unfavorable” community health indicators. For Hendricks County those indicators were (in alphabetical order):

 Access to healthy food

 Air pollution

 Crime (violent crime)

 Excessive drinking

 Mental health and supply of mental health providers

 Obesity and lack of physical activity

Participants then were asked to discuss whether the identified, unfavorable indicators accurately identified the most significant community health issues and were encouraged to add issues that they believed were significant. Several issues were added, such as: tobacco use, low income, housing, access to affordable healthcare, adverse childhood events, and aging population. Air pollution was removed from the list, and the excessive drinking line item was amended to include substance abuse.

During the meeting, a range of other topics was discussed, including:

 Poverty rate numbers and relationship to ‘ALICE’ data

 Immigrants in the community and representation in data

 Western part of Hendricks County where food deserts are a bigger issue that didn’t seem to come through in secondary data

 Social associations data compared to abundance of churches and civic clubs in Hendricks County

 Mental health services issues facing the sheriff’s department/jail population

 Low numbers of providers compared to the population and low number of providers who have spots available for Medicaid patients

 Vaping

 Trauma in childhood as a leading indicator of many of the adult issues discussed

 Challenge of finding affordable housing

After discussing the needs identified through secondary data and adding others to the list, each participant was asked to identify “three” that are most significant. From this process, the group identified the following needs as most significant in Hendricks County:

1. Mental health and supply of mental health providers

2. Access to affordable healthcare

3. Adverse childhood events

4. Tobacco use

5. Tied: Access to healthy food, excessive drinking & substance abuse, and aging population"

Key Stakeholder Interview

(Directly quoted from the IU Health West Hospital Community Health Needs Assessment)

"The interview was conducted with a representative of the Hendricks County Health Department. The interview was conducted to assure that appropriate and additional input was received from governmental public health officials. The results of the community [focus-leader] meeting were discussed and insights were sought regarding significant community health needs, why such needs are present, and how they can be addressed. The interview was guided by a structured protocol.

The interviewee confirmed that the needs identified by the community meeting participants were significant. These needs were:

o Mental health and supply of mental health providers

o Access to affordable healthcare

o Adverse childhood events

     There is a lack of mental and behavioral health providers, including psychiatrists, substance abuse specialists, inpatient care, and others. It is often difficult to locate resources for those with substance abuse issues or suicidal ideations.

     In general, there is an undersupply of providers in the county, and more programs may be needed to incentivize providers to practice locally.

     Access to affordable care is an issue, especially with a recent closure of a facility that provided services for lower-income residents. Low income populations and those that do not receive healthcare benefits through their employers are disproportionately affected.

     The need for affordable primary care also generates a need for more preventive health care and screenings, as many residents do not go to a provider unless an emergency situation occurs.

     Substance abuse and drug addiction is a major concern, particularly around opioids. Availability of opioids is high and the cost of these drugs has decreased, leading to increased usage. Additionally, pill abuse is also rising as it is often easy to get a prescription for an opioid.

     Pain management treatment in general is difficult to access in the county.

     Obesity and physical inactivity are concerns in the community. Certain areas of the county do not live close to stores selling healthy foods, so often go to fast food instead. Additionally, sidewalks and other healthy-living infrastructure are in short supply.

     Obesity is also leading to chronic issues as the population ages, including bad knees, bad backs, diabetes, hypertension, and other conditions.

     Housing is a concern in the community, particularly affordable housing for low income residents. Current rental units can be unclean, and environmental health issues are common.

     More resources are needed for public health programming, as there are fewer low income clinics, staffing issues exist, and programs are not as widely disseminated as possible."

2019-2021 Hendricks County

Community Health Improvement Plan

Improving our community's health requires education, advocacy, and collaboration. The Hendricks County Health Partnership is here to make that happen. Partnership members serve in 7 local coalitions including the Accessing & Utilizing Healthcare Coalition, the Mental Health & Wellness Coalition, the Substance Abuse Task Force, the Tobacco Free Coalition, the Physical Activity & Nutrition Coalition, the Minority Health Coalition, and the Interfaith Coalition. 

Each of these local coalitions meets together regularly, working on projects and initiatives to improve the physical, mental, and spiritual health of our community. Based on the data presented in this assessment, these 7 local coalitions draft a three year health improvement plan to guide and coordinate their efforts, ensuring that each project or initiative is "S.M.A.R.T." (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely). Click below to view these plans.

Data Tools for Further Assessment / Analysis: