Community members in Sidney and Richland County may soon be receiving a survey form in their mailbox. This survey will be sent to a random sample of homes and will help Sidney Health Center identify the health services needed in the community. This information will be used for strategic planning, grant applications, new programs, and by community groups interested in addressing health issues.
The Montana Office of Rural Health is assisting Sidney Health Center in the analysis of local community needs, use of local health care services and overall community health. This process was developed to maintain quality health care to serve the continuing and future needs of the community.
The community healthcare assessment process promotes healthcare as a local affair. Citizens of rural counties can take responsibility for the health of their community by completing the survey they receive in their mailbox. Most communities face a large number of complex issues in providing high quality healthcare, but fortunately, Richland County can engage in effective problem-solving, which is the most important factor in the survival of rural health services.
An accompanying goal of this process is to keep health care dollars within the local community. While the vast majority of health care can be provided locally, rural citizens often drive to large medical centers for care, spending money on health care and non-health care purchases that could be spent locally. It is estimated that within a typical rural community, millions of dollars of revenue is lost in this way. This revenue could be retained in the local community with stronger community-health care provider linkages.
Sidney Health Center’s campus includes an acute care (25-bed) hospital, clinic area, cancer care center, certified sleep center, retail pharmacy and an extended care facility offering a complete range of services from birth through end-of-life. These primary areas are complemented by several outpatient services including radiology, laboratory and rehab services to name a few.
“The purpose of the survey is to obtain information from a wide range of participants to assist in planning our programs, services, and facilities to best serve the needs of our community and the surrounding area,” stated Jen Doty, Sidney Health Center CEO.
“We are pleased to be able to bring some of the best community health resources to Sidney Health Center. The goal of this initiative is to assist forward-thinking rural hospitals and communities in aligning their resources, to address their present and future needs in the best way possible,” said Natalie Claiborne, Assistant Director, Montana Office of Rural Health.