Community Service Plan

COMMUNITY HEALTH NEEDS ASSESSMENT (CHNA)

Accessibility to primary healthcare remains a concern for some residents in Flushing Hospital Medical Center’s (FHMC or Flushing Hospital) primary service area, as 13.6% of the residents of West Queens and 11% of the residents of Flushing-Clearview have reported1 that there was an occasion when they have not been able to receive medical care within the past year when they needed it. The percentages of FHMC service area residents who were unable to access healthcare services were higher than those observed in Queens overall (10.1%) or NYC overall (9.6%). Reasons for a person’s inability to receive needed medical services range from appointment availability to financial means (including insurance and Medicaid/Medicare coverage). According to New York City’s 2015 Community Health Profiles, 38% and 36% of adult residents of Community Districts (CDs) 3 and 4 (West Queens), respectively, reported that they did not have health insurance. These CDs contained the highest percentages of uninsured adult residents (out of 59 CDs); the Queens and NYC averages were 22% and 20%, respectively.2

Obesity, air quality/smoking, and the need for additional behavioral health services were priority health issues highlighted in the data analyses that Flushing Hospital conducted for this CHNA. These health concerns were also identified by residents of the Community Districts of Flushing and Corona, who took part in focus groups and surveys in the Spring of 2016 as part of New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s (DOHMH) Take Care New York (TCNY) 2020 initiative. On the TCNY 2020 surveys, Flushing and Corona residents also named physical activity as a health issue, underscoring the need for more exercise programs and educational opportunities to help residents maintain a healthy weight.

Breastfeeding, which lowers the risk of death from infectious diseases in a child’s first two years of life, and can also reduce the risk of childhood obesity,3 as well as the risk of a woman developing breast or ovarian cancer4, is still not practiced as often in parts of Flushing or West Queens as it is in New York City overall. Flushing Hospital has focused significant resources on improving rates of exclusive breastfeeding among women who deliver at the Hospital, as well as among mothers in the community, and hopes to soon be designated as a Baby Friendly Hospital for offering an optimal level of care for infant feeding and mother/baby bonding. Smoking and secondhand smoke, as well as household/outdoor air pollution, were identified as ongoing community health concerns that are correlated with chronic disease, such as asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), as well as cancer. Responding to the needs of the community, Flushing Hospital has focused on improving tobacco cessation rates and has been awarded Gold Star Status from the NYC DOHMH’s Tobacco-Free Hospitals Campaign in recognition of its tobacco cessation programming and successes.

COMMUNITY SERVICE PLAN (CSP)

Although FHMC could have also selected other initiatives to highlight in its Prevention Agenda, based upon community health statistics and consumer needs/utilization surveys, its resources and capabilities are best suited to focus on:

  • decreasing tobacco use within the community, and
  • increasing rates of exclusive breastfeeding among mothers in the service area

For each of these priorities the Hospital has established measurable outcome objectives and evidence-based interventions that are listed in the full CSP in the section on Implementation Plan and Progress Report.

FHMC elected to address these two particular health needs since they will make a significant impact on the community’s health and create sustainable quality of life improvements. Because of its current and past efforts on these two priorities, Flushing Hospital earned a Gold Star for its accomplishments with NYC’s Tobacco-Free Hospital campaign, and is in the final phase of being designated as a Baby Friendly Hospital.

The Hospital has incorporated community input from many organizations and individuals into its selection of priorities, as described in detail in the full CHNA report’s section on Data Sources and Community Input. At its meeting on August 10, 2016, Flushing’s Community Advisory Board agreed with the above priorities, and on November 15, 2016 the Hospital’s Board of Trustees approved the plan.

Flushing Hospital also devotes considerable resources to many other prevention activities. As an example, the Hospital is partnering with NYC DOHMH on its TCNY 2020 agenda, which has four objectives that are aligned with the State’s Prevention Agenda Priorities, and the Delivery System Reform Incentive (DSRIP) projects that the Hospital is implementing. These efforts are described in detail in the full CHNA and CSP reports.