The health needs of communities are connected across public health and public sector domains. Health needs are more urgent and chronic in groups and communities that experience poverty. These groups are also likely to experience discrimination, exploitation and trauma. Resilience and adaptability are present in these groups and communities. The following health needs were assessed in multiple reports, across health topics:
- Linkage/navigation in and between services/agencies
- Substance use prevention and treatment
- Stable housing
- Culturally appropriate services
- Adequate and accurate information
- Engagement of isolated groups and individuals
- Resilience in the face of trauma, fear, stress, threats, discrimination and exploitation.
In these assessments, the most identified Health issues and health determinants were:
- Alcohol and other drugs
- Mental health
- Health promotion and prevention.
A range of interventions are recommended across the strategic priority health needs, ranging from policy change to case management. Case management includes navigation/linkage within and between service areas. Access to Care should be defined broadly to include a range of services from prevention to specialized medical interventions. Multidisciplinary expertise and interagency approaches are required to address health needs, impact inequities and end disparities in health and health care.
Barriers to good health include barriers to social services and health care, including disjointed systems, legal problems, threat of deportation, and social isolation. Substance abuse in youth, which has long-term effects on all aspects of health, is identified as a health problem in all three SFHIP priority health need areas.
Systems that provide health care and health services require ongoing reform, training and coordination between agencies. These services require more strategic and coordinated use of data and technology and an equity framework for service provision.
A scan of the aims and findings of the assessments revealed these themes :
- Inequities and disparities are well documented
- Systemic barriers
- Cost of health, systems problems
- Health issues are interconnected, but services and data are not
- Lack of coordination and alignment
- Innovation and risk
- Health is multigenerational and intergenerational
- Capacity building and training for providers is needed in all health priority areas
- Health is impacted by and relevant to practices in all social sectors
- Equity frameworks are essential to gaining insight into population health needs and the many levels of intervention needed to address them
TABLE 1: Assessment Topics by Current SFHIP Strategic Priority Areas
A snapshot of health needs assessment topics categorized by SFHIP 2016 Strategic Priority Areas. Topics are listed in alphabetical order. Assessments may be categorized under more than one strategic priority area. The 2016 Strategic Priority Areas are explained here. Access to Care is defined broadly in this document, referring to health services ranging from (tertiary) prevention to specialized medical services. Two assessments addressed needs that did not fall under the three Strategic Priority Area categories.