Community Health Improvement Planning Process Continues With June 30 Meeting

Community Health Improvement Planning Process Continues With June 30 Meeting
Courtesy of NNPHD.

WAYNE – An upcoming health planning meeting will highlight the northeast Nebraska counites of Cedar, Dixon, Thurston and Wayne later this month.

According to a release from the Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department, the Northeast Nebraska Rural Health Network (NNRHN) has released the 2022 Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) which can be found at

The Community Health Needs Assessment is a report that looks at the health status, behaviors and needs of people living in the health district which includes Cedar, Dixon, Thurston and Wayne counties.

The purpose of the report is to identify major health concerns, gaps in services and other factors that may prevent people from being as healthy as possible. The CHNA will guide the Community Health Improvement Planning (CHIP) process, which will kick off with a meeting on Thursday, June 30 from 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Wayne Fire Hall (510 Tomar Drive). Lunch will be served to those who attend.

Staff from the member organizations of NNRHN will help conduct the CHIP meeting. The network members include Providence Medical Center, Pender Community Hospital, Winnebago Public Health Department, Midtown Health Center, University of Nebraska Health Center and Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department.

NNRHN is looking to build not only on the lessons of the last CHNA and CHIP in 2018-2019, but also on what has been learned in dealing with the pandemic.

Public involvement is as important to the CHIP process as it was to the CHNA. The Community Health Needs Assessment process included the public in a community health survey, as well as conversations with community members and community minded professionals that covered health outcomes and the factors that affect these outcomes. The June 30 meeting will help to set priorities for the work of Northeast Nebraska Rural Health Network and its member organizations.

Several local health issues are identified in the CHNA report and will be considered in the CHIP process. These include mental health, cancer, access to healthcare, chronic disease management, barriers to weight management including lack of access to healthy food and infectious diseases including COVID-19.

Mental Health was once again chosen as a top concern in the community health survey among a list of choices. While the Nebraska Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) Dashboard indicated that key indicators including frequent mental distress went down in 2020, mental health is still an issue, especially given continuing low numbers of mental health providers available to area residents.

Cancer was the third most often chosen in the list of health concerns in the survey. Cancer incidence for lung, colon/rectum, and prostate have been higher than the state average. The age adjusted mortality rate for this region (158.4 per 100,000) is higher than the state rate (150.3) or the national rate (149.4) (CDC 2016-2020).

Even though obesity was not among the choices provided for health concerns for the district, challenges to getting healthy food and getting enough exercise were among the top six choices for health concerns of the district

For more information, contact Network Director Lori Steffen at 402-375-2200 or at

Reach out to Northeast Nebraska Public Health Department Health Director Julie Rother at 402-375-2200 or stop by the NNPHD office at 215 North Pearl Street with any questions.

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