Nine health systems and 37 hospitals across five counties worked to identify recurring causes
of poor health and focus resources to support change

PHILADELPHIA – October 18, 2022 – Mental health conditions, racism and discrimination in health care settings, and community violence are among the 12 health priorities identified in the 2022 Southeastern Pennsylvania Community Health Needs Assessment (rCHNA) Coordinated by the Health Care Improvement Foundation in partnership with the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, a community health needs assessment is a federal requirement for non-profit hospitals. Hospitals are also required to develop implementation plans in response to the rCHNA findings.

“This comprehensive assessment enables us to identify the health and social needs of residents in southeastern Pennsylvania – particularly those who may experience inequities – so we can prioritize programs and direct services where most needed,” said Wendy Nickel, MPH, president, Health Care Improvement Foundation (HCIF). “Recognizing that hospitals and health systems often mutually serve the same communities, our assessment is unique in that it is a regional collaboration offering a broader view of the service needs and gaps across Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties.”

The 12 regional community health needs and priority areas identified are:

  • Diagnosis and treatment of mental health conditions
  • Access to both primary and specialty care
  • Prevention and management of chronic diseases such as hypertension, cancer and diabetes
  • Prevention and treatment of substance use and related disorders
  • Navigating healthcare and health resources
  • Racism and discrimination in healthcare
  • Lack of access to healthy and affordable food
  • Availability of culturally and linguistically appropriate services
  • Impact of community violence
  • Safe, stable housing and homelessness
  • Socioeconomic disadvantages such as poverty and unemployment
  • Neighborhood conditions such as blight, lack of greenspace, and poor air and water quality

Regional collaboration
Conducted every three years in accordance with the Affordable Care Act, the rCHNA is in its second cycle as a regional collaboration and was expanded from 2019 to 2022 to include nine health systems and 37 hospitals. The assessment involves contributions from a wealth of stakeholders, including county health departments, local clinical and hospital patient advisory group leaders, community-based organizations that work with underserved populations, and residents across the five counties. In addition to HCIF’s coordinating efforts, the Philadelphia Department of Public Health spearheaded analysis of quantitative data. Independent qualitative experts were engaged to hold almost 50 Community Conversations and focus group discussions with residents and key stakeholders to identify needs and strengths. Across the five counties 26 Community Conversations and 21 focus group discussions were conducted that centered around a variety of “spotlight” topics including behavioral health, chronic disease, food insecurity, housing and homelessness, older adults and care, racism and discrimination in health care, substance use, and violence. Further primary and secondary data collection efforts also engaged residents with disabilities, community advisory board members at cancer centers, community-based organizations serving immigrant and heritage communities, and the voices of youth.

The report can be found here. It includes the list of participating hospitals, summaries of health indicators and qualitative data by geographic region, summaries of “spotlight” topics, an overview of the impact of COVID-19 including vaccinations and mortality rates, and solutions recommended by residents and stakeholders to address priority needs.

“The community health needs assessment is a comprehensive effort that gives us important insights from a public health perspective about the current health status, needs, and issues for not only people in Philadelphia but residents across southeastern Pennsylvania,” said Frank Franklin, PhD, JD, MPH, deputy health commissioner, Philadelphia Department of Public Health. “This information helps us to determine where we should focus our resources to best meet the community needs.”

About the Health Care Improvement Foundation
The Health Care Improvement Foundation (HCIF) is a nonprofit organization that drives high-value health care through multi-stakeholder collaboration and initiatives to improve access to, delivery of, and experience of care. We are dedicated to the vision of healthier communities through equitable, accessible, and quality health care. Learn more: