Health & Wellness

Springfield Board of Health Seeks More Local Focus in Community Health Needs Assessment

bd0f886e49cfc95b0f4d_BOH4__1_.jpg
Board of Health Credits: Chip Dickson
bd0f886e49cfc95b0f4d_BOH4__1_.jpg

SPRINGFIELD, NJ—A group of non-profit health organizations known as the North Jersey Health Collaborative has presented a 50-page “Community Health Needs Assessment” for Union County for 2016. The assessment was prepared for the group by the Center for Population Health Sciences at Atlantic Health System—the parent organization of Overlook Medical Center in Summit.

The assessment delves into areas such as access to care, behavioral health, "built" environment, cancer, cardiovascular disease, chronic and communicable diseases, economic and environmental health and a host of other topics. Discussions on these areas then are followed up by statistics on a number of health subjects and their effects on various populations.

However, according to township board of health members, the statistics neither are attributed to specific sources nor are they broken down into community-related statistics so individual municipalities, like Springfield, can take action on corrective measures needed within their borders.

Sign Up for E-News

Springfield Health Officer Michael Fitzpatrick replied that, while surveys done several years ago were completed by individual communities, the sponsoring non-profit organizations found that this approach did not meet their global need to find overall solutions for populations they serve.

Some tie-in to local statistics would help Springfield decide what it can do to address the needs of specific communities within its borders, Springfield Board of Health Vice President Sandy Harris said.

For example, she noted, there can be some reaching out to township “faith-based communities” to find out what problems they are encountering and how they can be assisted in their efforts.

The health officer replied that statistics from five or six faith-based organizations might be useful and, if those conglomerate statistics were not available perhaps leaders of congregations could be contacted for their input.

Board member Debra Sobel suggested a possible “summit” of leaders of various faiths to help hone in on problems and possible target areas and solutions.

Also, board member Patti Lynn said those involved in local community healthcare would like to find out why people, especially those most in need, like the uninsured, are not attending community health clinics.

She added that, which school nurses can provide information to school children and their parents, she was not sure other adults, especially the elderly living alone, were getting the message sufficiently.

Board president Leonard Bielory added that the highest priority in his mind was addressing the drug abuse problem, especially among the young adult population.

He said although many youth felt they were “invincible,” Springfield does see a number of youth deaths from drug overdoses.

Both Bielory and Harris said a large medical organization such as Atlantic Health Systems keeps records on various topics listed under zip codes and other identifying values that can be used in narrowing down assessments by community to better determine which populations need help and the type of help they need.

On another matter, Fitzpatrick reported a recent state audit of the Madison Health Department, which provides contracted health services to Springfield and a number of other communities, found that local board of health members could use more education in the functioning of health departments and health department staff members could use more workforce development.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Springfield

Three School Buses Involved in Crash at Clark's ALJ High School

June 21, 2018

CLARK, NJ — Three buses collided in the Arthur L. Johnson High School parking lot around noon on Thursday in a chain-reaction crash. 

Students were on board at the time, according to Police Chief Pedro Matos. One driver and two students had minor injuries, Matos said.   

According to a Honeywell alert issued by the Clark Public School District, ...

Construction Update on Vauxhall Ave. Bridge, Chestnut St. Bridge and Morris Avenue Work

June 19, 2018

UNION, NJ – A CodeRed alert about road construction, the resulting congestion, and what can be expected, was sent to residents Tuesday morning.

The message said the work on these state roads is being performed by the New Jersey Department of Transportation.  The message outlined the following work scheduled for June and July:

The Vauxhall Bridge over Route 22.  Work ...

Shakespeare in the Park Returns to Union County, Sunday, July 8

June 22, 2018

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to announce the return of Shakespeare in the Park this summer. The first performance will be presented on Sunday, July 8 at 7:00 p.m. at the Raymond Wood Bauer Promenade in Linden.

The Shrew Mechanicals Troupe from The Shakespeare Theatre of New jersey will present an hour long performance of “Powerful Trouble,” a stirring ...

Upcoming Events

Mon, June 25, 7:45 AM

17 Kent Place Boulevard, Summit

Monday Morning Yoga

Health & Wellness

Tue, June 26, 6:30 PM

Millburn Free Public Library, Millburn

Memoir Writing Class at Millburn Library in June ...

Arts & Entertainment