Community Health Needs Assessment


Community Health Needs Assessment 2021The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (“PPACA”), sets forth requirements via the Internal Revenue Code Section 501(r) for hospital organizations to conduct a periodic assessment of health needs of those living in their service area.

The Community Health Needs Assessment is a systematic, data-driven approach to determining the health status, behaviors and needs of residents in Hartford HealthCare’s service areas. The information garnered from the assessment may be used by Hartford HealthCare to inform decisions and guide efforts to improve community health and wellness.

A Community Health Needs Assessment provides information so that communities may identify issues of greatest concern and decide to commit resources to those areas, thereby making the greatest possible impact on community health status. This Community Health Needs Assessment will serve as a tool toward Hartford HealthCare’s efforts in reaching three basic goals:

  • To improve residents’ health status, increase their life spans, and elevate their overall quality of life
  • To reduce the health disparities among residents. By gathering demographic information along with health status and behavior data, it will be possible to identify population segments that are most at-risk for various diseases and injuries.
  • To increase accessibility to preventive services for all community residents. More accessible preventive services will prove beneficial in accomplishing the first goal (improving health status, increasing life spans, and elevating the quality of life), as well as lowering the costs associated with caring for late-stage diseases resulting from a lack of preventive care.

The information included in the needs assessment provides the foundation upon which community health programs and interventions can be targeted, developed, and evaluated with the ultimate goal of improving the health of the community and its members.

Hartford HealthCare partners have recently updated their Community Health Needs Assessments. Follow the links below to view these assessments.


Community Health Needs Assessment 2021


St. Vincents CHNA Report (2019)


CHNA 2018




Community Health Needs Assessment



Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP)

The Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) is Hartford HealthCare’s effort to address public health problems based on the results of community health assessment activities and the community health improvement process.

The following are CHIPs for each Hartford HealthCare region:



Natchaug Hospital 2022 Community Health Improvement Plan To Improve Access to Care

Natchaug Hospital has released its 2022 Community Health Improvement Plan, identifying four areas of focus that are intended to address root causes of community health issues. The hospital’s development department will work in conjunction with community partners to continue or implement programs that will be most effective in impacting change.

“As community health leaders, this plan is essentially our call to action over the next three years to do our part to assure those we serve live long and healthy lives,” said Kate McNulty, Director of Development for the Behavioral Health Network. “Community partnerships will be a key ingredient to achieving success. This plan aims to further develop and pursue active engagement with the community.” 

The 2021 Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) for Natchaug leveraged numerous sources of local, regional, state and national data along with input from community-based organizations and individuals.

In addition to assessing traditional health status indicators, the 2021 CHNA took a close look at social determinants of health (SDH) such as poverty, housing, transportation, education, fresh food availability, and neighborhood safety and contains an Equity Profile. These two enhancements are in response to the lessons of COVID and in recognition of an emerging national priority to identify and address health disparities and inequities. HHC and Natchaug are committed to addressing these disparities and inequities through its Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP), McNulty said. 

“Health assessments help us examine changes to the health of our community, provide insights as to how residents can lead healthy and happy lives, and identify key health issues facing the community,” said McNulty. “The definition of health now includes the quality of the community in which we live, work, and play – not just the lifestyle habits of individuals. A comprehensive assessment process must provide a framework that helps communities prioritize public health issues; identify resources for addressing them; and effectively develop and implement community health improvement plans.”

The Natchaug Hospital region consists of Chaplin, Columbia, Coventry, Hampton, Lebanon, Mansfield, Scotland, and Windham. However, Natchaug Hospital operates facilities throughout Eastern Connecticut, including Norwich, Franklin, Groton, Killingly, Vernon, Enfield, and Old Saybrook.

The four areas of focus are:

  1. Promote Healthy Behaviors and Lifestyles
  2. Reduce the Burden of Chronic Disease
  3. Improve the Coordination of Services and Access to Care
  4. Enhance Community-Based Behavioral Health Services

Community Assessment Results

The focus areas were identified based on results of surveys, interviews and analysis of data from other sources. Within Natchaug’s geographic region, data shows the population has:

  • Comparatively high prevalence of food insecurity
  • Comparatively high rates of mortality due to non-medical drug abuse and misuse
  • Comparatively high rates of excessive drinking with 17.7 percent of adults reporting abuse
  • Poor mental health status and comparatively high rates of suicide
  • Problematic access to mental health care and Substance Use Disorder (SUD) treatment services, which have been affected by an undersupply of providers in some geographic areas, limited transportation resources, gaps in insurance coverage, and overall affordability.

Programming for Health Improvement

Healthy Behaviors

  • Increase access to a steady, healthy food supply
  • Increase knowledge around the importance of proper use and disposal of prescription medications and the dangers of using illegal substances
  • Increase knowledge around the dangers of alcohol abuse

Coordination of Services

  • Support the availability of psychiatric services in the region
  • Provide Narcan™ kits and training on how to dispense the drug

Chronic Disease

  • Provide information on suicide prevention strategies
  • Provide resources in the community to help identify depression and provide support accessing services at the appropriate level of car

Behavioral Health

  • Promote access to behavioral health services by helping the community identify persons experiencing a behavioral health crisis through Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) training
  • Ensure clients and the community are able to connect as peers

Natchaug Hospital