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:

Sign Up for E-News

Springfield

Update: Health Authorities Still Investigating Flu Death of Elizabeth Schoolgirl

February 19, 2018

ELIZABETH, NJ - The New Jersey Department of Health is continuing to investigate the cause of the passing of Daniela Genaro who attended Nicholas LaCorte - Peterstown School No. 3 after it was confirmed that the student had been diagnosed with influenza. Officials say, it "presently remains unclear whether or not the virus was the primary contributing factor to the child's ...

Keep Our Local Governments as Clean as Possible

February 14, 2018

Dear Editor:

 

I read with interest in a local newspaper regarding the Union county democrat party political infighting for their “county chair” selection. There were 2 letters juxtaposed, each one listing supporters of either Senator Scutari or Fanwood Mayor Mahr, who are the two main people vying for the “boss” position.

 

Although I am a ...

Another Holiday, Another Encounter with Marine Life along Jersey Shore

February 19, 2018

SPRING LAKE, NJ — In neighboring Spring Lake, a baby seal made its way onto the beach near the north end pavilion early this afternoon.

Photographer Nancy Orlowski discovered the harbor seal pup near the jetty situated just south of the pavilion on Ocean Avenue at Ludlow Avenue.

The seal’s Presidents Day appearance on February 19 comes one day after a whale was spotted off the ...

Seamen’s Church Institute Fundraiser & Collection at Trinity Cranford Feb. 25th

February 19, 2018

On Sunday February 25th Trinity Episcopal Church, 119 Forest Avenue, Cranford, New Jersey, will be holding a Bake Sale fundraiser for Seamen’s Church Institute(SCI) following both the 8:00 and 10:00 services. Trinity is also collecting trial-size shampoo, 2-4 oz. bottles of hand lotion, lip balm, soft pack of facial tissue, packs of chewing gum, and microwave popcorn, for SCI’s ...

Upcoming Events

Tue, February 20, 9:00 AM

The Cora Hartshorn Arboretum and Bird Sanctuary, Short Hills

Winter Break Camp at the Cora Hartshorn Arboretum ...

Education Green

Tue, February 20, 6:00 PM

UCEDC, Cranford

Next Level Business Planning

Business & Finance

Wed, February 21, 9:00 AM

The Cora Hartshorn Arboretum and Bird Sanctuary, Short Hills

Winter Break Camp at the Cora Hartshorn Arboretum ...

Education Green