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Report identifies highest priorities for health care

The 2021 Henderson County Community Health Assessment for Henderson County, which identifies the highest priorities in the county for health care, is now available to the public.

The document highlights the collaborative process the county undertook to determine health priorities for the next three years.

A CHA is an important part of improving and promoting health of county residents. The process results in a public report, which describes health indicators, status of the community’s health, recent changes and health outcomes.

Since January 2021, the Henderson County Department of Public Health has worked with community stakeholders and partners to collect and analyze community data and decide what is most important to act on.

The health priorities identified by the community for 2022-24 are:

  • Mental health
  • Substance misuse
  • Physical activity and nutrition
  • Safe and affordable housing
  • Interpersonal violence

Additionally, health disparities were recognized as a common concern among all priorities. An equity-based approach to improve health outcomes will be an inherent part the strategy for forthcoming action plans.

Sharing the CHA findings with stakeholders and community members is only the first step in understanding and addressing priority health needs in the community. Local hospitals and community partners will collaborate to create action teams and develop action plans.

These plans will identify effective strategies, and performance measures for addressing the five health priorities over the next three years. Community input is sought in the next phase as action teams are formed to address the priorities.

Later this year, action plans will be incorporated into the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) and developed into an electronic scorecard accessible online, so anyone can monitor the community’s progress.

Henderson County is part of a larger community health assessment and improvement effort taking place in the region called WNC Healthy Impact. A partnership and coordinated process between public health agencies, hospitals and key regional partners in Western North Carolina, WNC Healthy Impact is a regional effort supported financially by all the hospitals in the region and coordinated by WNC Health Network.

“We are grateful that support for this community health assessment work is provided by Pardee UNC Health Care and AdventHealth Hendersonville,” said Henderson County Public Health Director Steve Smith. “We also appreciate the direction by the Henderson County Board of Health and support of the Henderson County Partnership for Health in completing this assessment.”

The full CHA report is available online at Residents may also view the report at the main library and all branches.

For questions about the report, or if you would like more information about serving on a Community Health Assessment Action Team, please contact Camden Stewart, Community Health Assessment Lead at the Henderson County Department of Public Health, at 828-694-6065 or