January 3, 2014

Partnerships promote healthy community

Hospital, parks to reach for health goals laid out by assessment.

By Amie Sites Pharos-Tribune

---- — Information found using a community health assessment has helped the Logansport Memorial Hospital determine and prioritize community needs, Dave Ameen, CEO of Logansport Memorial Hospital, said.

“I think we’ve created a baseline for what our organization and other organizations can do,” Ameen said.

Key areas of interested determined in the Cass County Health Needs Assessment are easier access to care; chronic disease management and health screens; maternal, infant and children’s health and nutrition; and physical activity and weight.

With the key areas of interest and an implementation plan in place, Ameen is hoping different partners can take on different areas of the plan and “make it happen.”

The Logansport Parks Department will take part in the push to improve areas mentioned in the assessment plan, Jan Fawley, Parks Administrator, at the Logansport Parks Department, said.

Several activities have been outlined with both short- and long-term goals to improve the areas highlighted in the community needs assessment.

One thing Fawley would be interested in doing is partnering with the schools and community gardens through the ACTS Project to provide a summer lunch program at the parks.

Representatives with the Logansport Parks Department already work to promote healthy lifestyles by working with the obesity task force and, in the past, helping with community fit day.

“If there is something we can do to help, we want to,” Fawley said. “We want to be more of a player.”

Adding more connecting trails in the area to promote walking and biking to various locations may take place in the future to fit in with the needs assessment.

Fawley noted that the city parks department can’t do anything without partner agencies.

Ameen said the same can be said for the hospital — “none of us are big enough to do this on our own.”

“I think our staff and community members did a great job with the assessment,” Ameen said. “Yes it was required, but other organizations gladly contributed time and responded appropriately.”

In addition to creating partnerships to promote a healthy lifestyle, the assessment will be used in physician recruitment and the hiring of specialized employees in the future, Ameen said.

It will work as a road map, he said.

“I’m hoping community members will look at the assessment and realize there are things they can do for their own health,” Ameen said. “The whole solution to health care is personal responsibility.”

On the Web Check out the Cass County Health Needs Assessment online at