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Anne Arundel releases health assessment

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The 2018 Anne Arundel County Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) has been released. The comprehensive, data-driven report, which identifies the health needs of the community, is a collaboration between the Anne Arundel County Department of Health, Anne Arundel Medical Center, University of Maryland Baltimore Washington Medical Center (UM BWMC), Anne Arundel County Mental Health Agency, Community Foundation of Anne Arundel County, Anne Arundel County YWCA, and the Anne Arundel County Partnership for Children, Youth and Families.

As a mandate under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, the assessment presents data and key factors impacting the health of county residents and serves as the foundation for strategic planning for local hospitals and public health agencies.

The CHNA examines a variety of health and behavioral indicators, including social determinants of health (such as poverty, housing and education), mortality rates, high risk behaviors (alcohol and tobacco use) and chronic health conditions, such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease.

The 2018 report identified mental health, substance abuse, access to care and chronic disease as health priorities for the county. The report also shares principal findings, such as an increase in county residents classified as obese, the growth of the Hispanic population, the lack of public transportation, homelessness and the impact of social media on mental health.

“The CHNA provides critical insight into the health needs and concerns of county residents. Its findings has led to increased focus on areas of highest need in our community, such as mental health and the opioid use,” says Becky Paesch, vice president of physician services at UM BWMC. We will continue to use the findings identified through the CHNA to make sure we are moving in the right direction.

A public presentation of the report will be made on Wednesday, Feb. 27, at Kinder Farm Park, Millersville at 1 p.m. To register, go to www.eventbrite.com/e/community-health-needs-assessment-presentation-tickets-55914618128; the CHNA report can be viewed at www.aahealth.org/CHNA2018. It was written and will be presented by Dr. Pamela Brown, executive director of the Anne Arundel County Partnership for Children, Youth and Families.