New Ulm Medical Center
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NUMC adopts strategies for reducing obesity and substance abuse, improving mental health
New Ulm Medical Center has wrapped up its Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) work with a 2014-2016 action plan that outlines a number of ways to tackle three of Brown County’s most pressing health issues – obesity, substance abuse and mental health problems. The action strategies go beyond NUMC’s core services and involve partnerships with other organizations.
New Ulm Medical Center, part of Allina Health, worked on the federally required CHNA plan for a year and a half with help from public health officials, local schools, park and recreation, other organizations and Wilder Research.
“The plan calls for continuing efforts that are underway to reduce obesity, such as the successful Heart of New Ulm program,” said Carisa Buegler, director, Foundation & Community Engagement for New Ulm Medical Center. “Substance abuse and mental health are some new areas that we will tackle on a larger scale. Our employees will be leading some community education efforts.”
The CHNA & Implementation Plan outlines facts that made the three selected issues rise to the top of the priority list, and ways to address each one. Here is a brief summary:
Obesity goal: Reduce obesity and increase physical activity.
Substance abuse goal: Support programs and provide education in the community.
Mental health goal: Improve access to mental health resources and address stigma.
“During the discussions that went into our needs assessment and plan, we heard community members say they wanted us to replicate the strengths of the community-driven Heart of New Ulm program in these other areas,” Buegler said. “We’ve tried to do that, and now we move forward with our annual work plans. They’ll include detailed actions, accountabilities, evaluation measures and timelines.”