Health Care Discussions in Your Community
Lifespan conducts community health needs assessments to understand what types of programs and resources could benefit underserved populations. As part of this work, the Lifespan Community Health Institute holds a series of forums to hear directly from the community about their needs that go beyond health care.
Information about upcoming community forums will be posted here as they are scheduled.
Highlights from 2019 Lifespan Forums
Participants in the forum at Rhode Island Hospital said that the hospital could do a better job of communicating to the diverse neighborhoods of South Providence. They indicated that more interpreters are needed at the hospital and that more health education materials should be available in Spanish and other languages.
The top health concerns were access to community-based depression services, healthy living programs, expensive medication, emergency department wait times, and limited health education.
Childhood nutrition, improving parenting skills, breast feeding education, and mental health screenings for pregnant women were topics of greatest concern among community members who attended the Hasbro Children’s Hospital forum.
Other concerns raised included cancer rates in the black population and a need to extend hours.
Issues raised by the participants at The Miriam Hospital forum ranged from opioid use privacy concerns to children’s health.
Cancer, patient education, and emergency department performance and access also ranked high on the group’s list of health care areas they’d like to see addressed.
The Bradley Hospital forum identified areas of concern that could serve to improve the delivery of mental health services.
Several school counselors and social workers shared their concerns about the increasing levels of daily stress they see in their students who are impacted by a variety of factors, including drug use, bullying, dating violence, and the blurry boundaries of appropriate interaction on social media versus real life.
Community advocates like North Providence Health Equity Zone coordinators Liz Vachon and Lisa Donohue echoed those concerns. They noted that their collection of needs assessment data yielded alarming rates of depression, stress, and anxiety among even elementary and middle school students.
The most common community concern raised in the Newport Hospital forum was transportation on Aquidneck Island. While the RIPTA bus routes offer frequent stops on the main roads – including a stop directly in front of Newport Hospital – other areas of the towns have no bus service at all. With physician offices scattered on both the RIPTA routes and other streets, participants said that people sometimes have difficulty finding transportation to the physician practices for visits and diagnostic testing.
Other questions and concerns focused on preventive medicine, especially in the areas of youth activities leading to good health, and availability of educational outreach programs on such topics as nutrition and obesity.