Maine Shared Community Health Needs Assessment Releases County Health Reports

April 03, 2019

The Maine Shared Community Health Needs Assessment (Maine Shared CHNA), a collaborative effort between the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Central Maine Healthcare, Northern Light Health, MaineGeneral Health and MaineHealth, has released a series of reports outlining priority health issues within each county.

The Maine Shared CHNA Reports show that mental health and substance use, social determinants of health, and access to care are among the top health priorities identified in almost every county in Maine. Other priorities include older adult health/healthy aging, physical activity, nutrition, weight, tobacco use, cardiovascular disease, and chronic disease.

Social determinants of health, which are community and societal factors that negatively influence health, were newly identified this time. Examples of these include hunger, poverty, transportation, housing, and discrimination.

The Maine Shared CHNA Reports are based on what nearly 2,000 people reported to be the biggest health issues facing their community after reviewing the County Health Profiles released in late 2018. Input was gathered through forums, community events, surveys, focus groups, and interviews during the fall and winter of 2018-2019. All of the CHNA Reports and County Health Profiles for the MaineHealth network of care can be found at MaineHealth.org/CHNA.

All 16 County Reports can be found on the Maine Shared CHNA website. Five Public Health District Reports and a State of Maine Report are scheduled to be released later this month.

Dr. Dora Anne Mills, chief health improvement officer for MaineHealth said, “We want to recognize the tremendous effort across the MaineHealth system and with our state partners, to identify specific community health needs through forums and other engagement activities. MaineHealth is committed to working with our local health systems to address many of these pressing health needs.”

The Health Reports will be used by:

  • Maine’s 33 non-profit hospitals to create health improvement plans by the end of 2019;
  • Maine’s 8 District Coordinating Councils to create District Health Improvement Plans within the next two years;
  • The Maine CDC to create a State Health Improvement Plan within the next two years; and   
  • Policymakers, non-profits, businesses, academics and other community partners for their own strategic planning purposes and grant writing.  

The Maine Shared CHNA website also contains:

  • County, Public Health District, State, and selected City Data Health Profiles;   
  • Health Equity Summary Sheets on Race, Sexual Orientation, Sex, Education, Ethnicity, and Income;
  • An interactive data portal; and 
  • Links to participating hospital systems’ Implementation Strategies and the District Public Health Improvement Plans.    

The Maine Shared CHNA is a unique public-private statewide collaborative effort between Central Maine Healthcare, the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, an office of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, MaineGeneral Health, MaineHealth, and Northern Light Health. Funding for the Maine Shared CHNA is provided by the partnering healthcare systems with generous in-kind support from the Maine CDC and community partners.