Community Health Needs Assessment
Youth Health Assessment Reveals Top Concerns of Parents, Opportunities for Community Leaders
Parents in the Omaha metropolitan area say the number one health issue affecting community children and teens is obesity—including the areas of nutrition, physical activity and weight. A close second for parents of adolescents is concern around teens’ mental and emotional health.
Children’s Hospital & Medical Center, Boys Town National Research Hospital and Building Healthy Futures are pleased to share these findings and more from the 2015 Child & Adolescent Health Needs Assessment. The three organizations teamed up to co-sponsor the assessment to determine the health status, behaviors and needs of children and teens in Douglas, Sarpy and Pottawattamie counties. Professional Research Consultants (PRC) of Omaha conducted the research endeavor. A similar assessment was sponsored and conducted in 2012. PRC’s process involved a customized local health survey given to 966 area parents/guardians online and via phone, a review of secondary data (e.g. census data, Youth Risk Behavior Survey, other public health data) and an online key informant survey for key community healthcare stakeholders.
“Before we can effectively address the health needs of children in our community, we have to step back and listen to parents’ perceptions and challenges,” says Dr. Richard Azizkhan, President & CEO, Children’s Hospital & Medical Center. “Their feedback is incredibly important in directing our efforts and advocacy into the future.”
“The numbers are fascinating, but it’s the young lives behind them that are most compelling to us,” explains Jeanee Weiss, MS, CEO of Building Healthy Futures. “The survey shines a bright light on real challenges that children face; it shows us where the gaps and cracks are. The sooner we identify those areas, the sooner we can work on improving them.”
The 2015 Child & Adolescent Health Needs Assessment identified nine areas of opportunity:
- Access to Healthcare Services
- Asthma & Other Respiratory Conditions
- Injury & Violence
- Mental Health
- Nutrition, Physical Activity & Weight
- Oral Health
- Vision, Hearing & Speech Conditions
- Sexual Health
- Substance Abuse
A majority of local families, 82.4 percent, rate their children’s overall health as excellent or very good. Respiratory allergies (18.3%) are considered the most prevalent health condition, followed by speech/language problems (14.1%), ADHD (8.3%), and asthma (6.2%). Unfortunately, more than 1 in 4 parents report experiencing difficulties or delays in receiving health care services for a child in the past year.
“This survey is an important resource for all healthcare providers in Omaha,” says John Arch, Director of Boys Town National Research Hospital. “The challenge now is in addressing these health issues so that we reach the best outcome—raising healthy children in a healthier community.”
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