July 27, 2023

Cameron Foundation publishes 2023 community health needs assessment

Following extensive research in partnership with the Institute for Public Health Innovation (IPHI), The Cameron Foundation has released a new regional health needs assessment for the Tri-Cities area. The report draws from both quantitative and qualitative data from across the seven localities that comprise Cameron’s service area, and, in keeping with the Foundation’s last needs assessment in 2018, this newest report incorporates social determinants of health indicators to enable broader analysis of community health. The report is available for viewing and downloading at https://camfound.org/about-us/publications.

“There is a wealth of knowledge in this report, and by continuing to look at the social determinants of health across two consecutive studies — spanning 10 years of time — we are able to better understand some of the region’s greatest needs,” noted Cameron’s President Nadine Marsh-Carter.

As one example, life expectancy maps are included in the report for each community in the region. The maps demonstrate the life expectancy rate of members of the community on a census track level. Marsh-Carter explained, “This is important in assessing the best prevention and intervention strategies for communities that have challenging health disparities.”

The IPHI led the process for this study, including analyzing and assessing data from secondary sources as well as developing a community survey and focus group questions to secure primary source material. A steering committee comprised of safety net providers, nonprofit organizations, as well as civic and faith leaders also informed the process, helped to develop the survey, and assisted with creating focus group questions.

This study was noteworthy for the collaboration between IPHI and La Casa de la Salud for conducting one of the focus groups for Spanish-speaking participants in their native language with bilingual community health workers. The surveys, which were administered during the second half of 2022, also were available in English and Spanish.

The 2023 needs assessment includes “Community Snapshots” to highlight key health indicators for each locality. The impact of COVID-19 is featured throughout the Community Snapshots and survey responses, with themes ranging from the learning gap for students; the economic impact on businesses; and, unemployment. Other feedback related to COVID-19 elevated the enhanced collaboration among organizations; the temporary reduction of violence; and, a shared realization that honest dialogue to address racial and social inequities was needed. Survey responses identified the biggest challenges related to COVID-19 as feeling lonely or isolated; keeping in good physical health; experiencing financial hardship; and, keeping good mental health.

“Because so much of our work depends on collaboration with partners across the region, this assessment also offers a rich resource for nonprofits, local governments, and others working on challenging issues impacting our quality of life here,” Marsh-Carter added.;

The Foundation is hosting a number of round-table discussions with members of the community about some of the key findings in this new assessment. Sessions include:

  • Wednesday, August 23, 10:00-11:00 a.m., in person at The Cameron Foundation, 228 S. Sycamore St., Petersburg, VA 23803
  • Wednesday, August 23, 3:30-4:30 p.m., in person at The Cameron Foundation, 228 S. Sycamore St., Petersburg, VA 23803
  • Thursday, August 24, 12:30-1:30 p.m., via zoom

The sessions are free to attend, but registration is required. To reserve a space, those interested are asked to email The Cameron Foundation at reservations@camfound.org or call 804 732 8900.

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