Community Health Needs Assessments

Count on Essentia Health to get to know your hometown—and work toward making it an even better and healthier place to live. We routinely conduct community health needs assessments (CHNAs) to better understand the needs of the populations we serve.

What’s a CHNA?

A CHNA identifies and measures the health needs of people in your community. It creates a detailed, comprehensive picture of your area based on:

  • Existing data (such as birth rates, income, tobacco use, and other factors)
  • Community surveys and conversations
  • Input from health care professionals
  • And more

This information helps health care organizations and others in your area decide how we can best help improve the health of your community.

Medical Insight: Community Health - Video Transcript

SPEAKER 1: Welcome to Medical Insight, a weekly health care feature brought to you by the experts in Essentia Health.

Text, Essentia Health. Here with you. Medical insight.

Here's your host, Maureen Talarico. MAUREEN TALARICO: Today on Medical Insight, pediatrician Dr. Timothy Zager and primary care physician Dr. James Conniff talk about the concept of community health.

Dr. James Conniff, primary care physician, sits in a chair by a fireplace

JAMES CONNIFF: I think of community health as being analogous to individual health. It's just that instead of talking about the health of a person, you're talking about the health of a whole community. MAUREEN TALARICO: According to Dr. Zager who oversees the Essentia Health Wellness Program, for Northeastern Minnesota and Northwestern Wisconsin only 10% of the population uses 90% of health care. Research shows this is due to increasing social disparities in health.

Dr. Timothy Zager, pediatrician. Pie chart, social determinants of health. 40% social and economic factors, 30% health behaviors, 10% clinical care, 10% physical environment, 10% genes and biology

TIMOTHY ZAGER: The root cause of a lot of these disparities in health care go to social disparities from the standpoint of housing, food access, education, and even personal choices in lifestyles and behaviors. MAUREEN TALARICO: Health care systems recognize these growing disparities and are now proactively working to improve the health of our communities through initiatives such as CHNA. JAMES CONNIFF: CHNA stands for community health needs assessment, and it's really a way for hospitals to focus on the big picture needs of a community as defined by that community.

A man walks his dog on a rocky beach by the edge of the ocean. A brown, partially submerged structure is in the water with a black and white lighthouse in the background. A man and a child ride a tandem bike down a park path.

It is not just a hospital presuming to know what a community needs, but it's a hospital looking at the quantitative data that's out there, looking at survey results, census results to get a sense of what the needs are, and also asking people directly-- organizing focus groups, interviewing community leaders and public health experts to really get qualitative input from the community about what the biggest issues that they face are.

People walk along a boardwalk

MAUREEN TALARICO: To learn more about community health, call or visit Essentia Health. For Medical Insight, I'm Maureen Talarico. SPEAKER 1: To learn more about this topic, call our experts at 786-3107.

Text, Medical Insight. 218-786-3107. Essentia Health dot org. Essentia Health. Here with you.

What’s an Implementation Plan?

An implementation plan is created for each community we serve based on the CHNA. The plan includes goals, strategies, and actions to improve the health of your community. It focuses on areas of need identified by the CHNA.

View Our Assessments & Plans

See the Community Health Needs Assessment and Implementation Plan for your community.

Northeast Minnesota & Northwest Wisconsin

Essentia Health-Duluth (Miller-Dwan)

Essentia Health-St. Mary's Medical Center (Duluth)

Essentia Health-Deer River

Essentia Health-Moose Lake

Essentia Health-Northern Pines (Aurora, MN)

Essentia Health-Sandstone

Essentia Health St. Mary’s Hospital-Superior

Essentia Health-Virginia

Central Minnesota

Eastern North Dakota & Western Minnesota

Essentia Health-Ada

Essentia Health-Fargo

Essentia Health-Fosston

Essentia Health-Holy Trinity Hospital (Graceville, MN)

Essentia Health St. Mary’s-Detroit Lakes

Updated and published on: June 23, 2022

Contact Us

Email to share your comments and questions. Or, to request a paper copy of any Community Health Needs Assessment.

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