Every five years, the Iowa Department of Public Health expects local health departments to conduct a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA). At the same time, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act requires non-profit hospitals to conduct a CHNA every three years. Both of those calendars and requirements coincide this year, allowing for the creation of a single multi-county, multi-hospital regional CHNA.

The Greater Des Moines Partnership, in collaboration with Capital Crossroads, is facilitating the development of this CHNA. The Steering Committee is comprised of representatives from the Polk, Dallas, and Warren county health departments, Broadlawns Medical Center, Mercy Medical Center, UnityPoint Health Des Moines, and other key stakeholders.

The Steering Committee identified five areas to address in the CHNA: Access to Care, Youth, Physical Environment, Workforce, and Mental Health. These work groups are in the process of identifying priorities and targets within each of their focus areas. The CHNA is expected to be completed by the end of the calendar year.