Saline Memorial Hospital (SMH), with collaboration from other local health professionals and stakeholders, is working to identify public health needs, goals and priorities. After months of data collection and community health surveys, the results will be presented at a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) Summit on Tuesday, October 27 at Bishop Park in Bryant.

“Over the past two months, we have analyzed public health data and conducted focus groups to gain a better understanding of the healthcare needs in our community,” said Rebecca Jones, director of marketing and community relations at SMH. “The CHNA Summit is basically a consensus building session with Saline County leaders to plan for health improvement in our community.”

 CHNA data was collected in three phases. First, a phone survey of residents in Saline County was conducted. This primary data helps provide greater understanding into the health needs of the community from a representative sample of the population. This data was matched with secondary data from multiple sources including the Arkansas Department of Health Statistics and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

After collecting the primary and secondary data, a variety of methods were used to solicit feedback from community representatives. These methods included web based surveys and focus groups in which leaders expressed their opinions about the most pressing needs of the community. Special attention was paid to minority voices and those suffering from chronic illness.

The Summit, which is open to the public, will be led by Stratasan, a third-party research partner who helped conduct the CHNA research. Dr. Stephanie Bailey, MD, Dean for the College of Health at Tennessee State University in Nashville, Tennessee and Nathaniel Smith, MD, MPH Director and Arkansas State Health Officer will also discuss state health objectives.

CHNAs are required for not-for-profit hospitals like SMH as part of health care reform legislation. The full assessment is expected to be finalized by the end of 2015 and will be made available to the public.

“The survey results will show what the concerns are as seen through the eyes of the residents of Saline County,” said Jones. “The CHNA feedback is important to identifying local health challenges and we look forward to working together for positive change.”

The Summit will be held October 27 from 8:00am-Noon at Bishop Park. If you would like to participate in the Summit, please RSVP to 501-776-6764 or via email to

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