Published: 04/04/2012

Evangelical Community Hospital Contributes to Union County’s Designation as Healthiest County in Pennsylvania

April 3, 2012 -- The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute released the third annual county-by-county analysis of public health, identifying the healthiest and least healthy counties in each state. The healthiest county in Pennsylvania was identified as Union County, according to the study.

The County Health Rankings Study was conducted on more than 3,000 counties or county equivalents nationwide and was accomplished by analyzing data gathered by several federal agencies in several categories. These include: health outcomes, health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors, and physical environment. The full study may be found at: http://www.countyhealthrankings.org/about-project.

As the primary healthcare provider in Union County for more than 85 years, Evangelical Community Hospital has served the residents of the County and larger Susquehanna Valley region by providing affordable, advanced and patient-centered healthcare. The Hospital has also made a commitment to helping people make their personal health a priority through the many health screenings, health lectures, and classes offered at its campus in Lewisburg, as well as throughout the region.

In 2009, Evangelical Community Hospital participated in a collective of healthcare and educational organizations for the purpose of conducting a community health needs assessment. The goal was to identify health needs in the region. Evangelical Community Hospital took the results of the assessment seriously and identified three areas of intense focus to aid in improving the health of the community. Those areas include programming for reducing obesity, tobacco use and assisting residents in navigating and understanding the complex healthcare system.

For combating obesity, the Hospital and its Community Health Education department focused its programming on wellness, nutrition, weight management classes, promotion of fitness and walking programs, and more. With tobacco use being the single most preventable cause of disease, and Snyder, Union, Northumberland and Lycoming counties having the third highest prevalence of tobacco use in the state, Evangelical Community Hospital concentrated its efforts on offering cessation opportunities including a QuitSmart Program prepares individuals for quitting, choosing a quit day, maintaining a smoke-free lifestyle and follow-up. In addition the Hospital became even more committed to working with patients to understand healthcare bills and insurance, and in helping patients find their way through the Hospital for appointments and procedures.

Evangelical is once again participating with ACTION Health and other community partners on the 2012 community health needs assessment. The results will be available in the next month. Once again, Evangelical Community Hospital will take its role seriously and will seek to understand and meet the health needs in the region. New program development will be considered and offered to address these needs. These efforts by Evangelical Community Hospital make a positive impact on the Susquehanna Valley and help to ensure that Union County remains Pennsylvania’s healthiest county.

Evangelical Community Hospital is a non-profit organization that employs approximately 1,300 people and has more than 170 employed and non-employed physicians on staff. The Hospital is licensed to accommodate 127 overnight patients, 12 acute rehab patients and 18 bassinets. The Hospital serves residents throughout the Central Susquehanna Valley, including those living in Snyder, Union, Northumberland and Lycoming Counties, and has earned the HealthGrades Patient Safety Excellence Award for four consecutive years.

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