COMMUNITY SERVICE PLAN
The effects of poverty on health, including difficulty obtaining nutritious food, unemployment, and the burden of high rents are observed in the communities that Flushing Hospital serves, particularly in Flushing-Clearview and West Queens.
Chronic diseases, obesity, tobacco use, behavioral health concerns, maternal morbidity, and late or no prenatal care were among the health issues highlighted in the community-level data analyses that Flushing Hospital conducted for this Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA). These health concerns were also identified by residents of the Hospital’s service area who responded to a health needs assessment survey sponsored by the Hospital during the spring and summer of 2019. Many of these health problems are caused in part by or exacerbated by the social determinants of health (SDH). The Hospital has begun focused efforts to address SDH, including the effects of discrimination, as part of its treatment of the whole person.
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 as well as the risk of a woman developing breast or ovarian cancer, is still not practiced as often in parts of the Hospital’s service area as it is in New York City overall. Flushing Hospital has focused on improving rates of exclusive breastfeeding among the women giving birth in the Hospital and those attending its ambulatory care centers with their infants, as well as among mothers in the community. The Hospital is designated as a Baby Friendly Hospital for offering an optimal level of care for infant feeding and mother/baby bonding.
Tobacco use 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 as well as cancer. Responding to the needs of the community, Flushing Hospital has focused on improving tobacco cessation rates. The Hospital was awarded Gold Star Status from the NYC DOHMH’s Tobacco-Free Hospitals Campaign in recognition of its tobacco cessation programming and successes, and continues to comply with the Campaign’s standards.
With the benefit of community input, the Hospital has chosen to highlight the prevalence of these two health issues in its service area as well as the Hospital’s concerted efforts to address them in its three year comprehensive Community Service Plan and Implementation Plan. These initiatives are in alignment with the NYS Prevention Agenda Priorities and the Healthy People 2020 goals.