This year , Parkview Regional Medical Center in Fort Wayne will open a 2,000 square-foot greenhouse that the community can use for growing fruits and vegetables . The greenhouse facility will house a “ learning kitchen ” and meeting space near a home for seniors and an early childhood education center .
The Parkview Regional Medical Center is part of Parkview Health , a not-for-profit health system in northeast Indiana that consists of nine hospitals serving about 800,000 people across seven counties . Its new greenhouse will address the problem of obesity by encouraging a culture of healthy eating . A wide range of community groups in Fort Wayne have expressed interest in partnering on it .
Parkview Health is targeting obesity based on a community health needs assessment ( CHNA ) that it released this past December . As part of the assessment process , input was gathered from the community about their top community health concerns . Public health data was collected to understand the size and seriousness of identified health problems . Obesity ranked highest among several community health challenges .
The Affordable Care Act of 2010 mandated that hospitals produce a CHNA every three years , but Parkview has been producing them for more than a decade . The assessments “ help us identify the community ’ s priorities ,” says Sue Ehinger , the Chief Experience Officer with Parkview Health . “ And then , we can partner with people in the community in order to close the gaps on those issues .”
Creating an assessment
To create its 2016 CHNA , Parkview Health collaborated with The Polis Center and Indiana University ’ s Richard M . Fairbanks School of Public Health , acting collaboratively as the Indiana Partnership for Healthy Communities ( IN-PHC ). The mission of IN-PHC is to make the knowledge generated by communities and academic institutions more accessible to the public , and to translate that knowledge into practices that improve public health . It was founded in 2012 with the support of the Indiana Clinical and Translational Science Institute .
According to Karen Frederickson Comer , director of collaborative research and health geoinformatics at The Polis Center , the IN-PHC team used a variety of state and national sources to create a preliminary list of health needs in the counties that Parkview Health serves and used SAVI ’ s inventory of community assets to identify relevant community programs . Then ,