Mercy Health Lourdes Hospital, Mercy Health Paducah, community health needs assessment
Healthy Living

Understanding the Community Health Needs Assessment in Paducah

Jun 17 2024

At Mercy Health, we believe that a healthy community is the cornerstone of a thriving society. We are committed to improving the health and well-being of the communities we serve.

To ensure we are meeting the specific needs of our diverse populations, we conduct community health needs assessments (CHNAs) every three years. These assessments are vital tools that help us identify health priorities, allocate resources effectively and develop targeted health improvement strategies.

The 2025 CHNA is currently underway in our Paducah market. Learn more about what the CHNA is, the importance of it and how to get involved.

What is a community health needs assessment (CHNA)?

A CHNA is a comprehensive process that involves collecting and analyzing data to understand the health status, needs and challenges of a specific service area. This assessment goes beyond merely identifying health problems – it also seeks to uncover the underlying social, economic and environmental factors that influence health outcomes.

The goal of a CHNA is to create a detailed picture of the community’s health, which can then guide the development of effective interventions and programs. One important source of data collection for the CHNA process is a survey of the general public. We are collaborating with the Purchase District Health Department, Baptist Health Paducah and Four Rivers Behavioral Health on our community survey.

Why is the CHNA important?

Identifying health priorities

By systematically gathering data from various sources, the CHNA helps us pinpoint the most pressing health issues within the community. This allows us to focus our efforts on areas where we can make the most significant impact.

Allocating resources effectively

Resources in health care are often limited. The CHNA provides a data-driven basis for deciding how to allocate these resources efficiently, ensuring that the most critical needs are addressed.

Engaging the community

The CHNA process involves engaging with community members, health care providers and other stakeholders. This collaborative approach ensures that the voices of those we serve are heard and that the solutions we develop are relevant and culturally appropriate.

Improving health outcomes

By understanding the specific health needs of the community, we can design and implement targeted programs that address these needs directly, leading to improved health outcomes.

The CHNA process at Mercy Health

The CHNA process at Mercy Health is thorough and inclusive, involving several key steps:

Data collection

We gather data from a variety of sources, including:

  • Public health records: Information from local and state health departments.
  • Public survey: Direct input from community members.
  • Health care utilization data: Insights from our own health care facilities.
  • Community partners: Data from schools, nonprofits and other local organizations.

Community engagement

We engage with community members and stakeholders through focus groups and one-on-one interviews. We pay particular attention to including individuals with knowledge of vulnerable and diverse populations to ensure the inclusion and representation of medically underserved individuals within the service area.

This step ensures that our assessment reflects the lived experiences and needs of the people we serve.

Data analysis

Our team of experts analyzes the collected data and the feedback from focus groups and interviews to identify trends, disparities and emerging health issues. This analysis helps us understand the root causes of health problems and the factors that contribute to them.


Based on the data analysis and community input, we prioritize the health issues that require immediate attention. We consider factors such as the severity of the problem, the number of people affected and the feasibility of addressing the issue.

Because we see health broadly, we prioritize needs within three categories: social determinant of health, social need and clinical health need.

Action plan development

We develop a detailed action plan that outlines the strategies and initiatives we will implement over the next three years to address the identified priorities. This plan includes specific goals, timelines and metrics for measuring success.

Implementation and evaluation

For the next three years, we will implement the action plan and continuously monitor and evaluate its effectiveness. We make adjustments as needed to ensure we are achieving our goals and meeting the community’s health needs.

Successful initiatives and future goals

Our previous CHNAs have led to several successful initiatives, including:

  • Substance misuse: Providing free harm reduction resources to help combat substance use disorder.
  • Mental health services: Expanding mental health services and resources.
  • Chronic disease management: Implementing programs to help individuals manage and prevent conditions such as congestive heart failure

Looking ahead, we remain committed to using the CHNA process to guide our efforts in creating healthier communities. We will continue to listen to our community members, use data-driven approaches and work collaboratively with our partners to address the ever-evolving health needs of our communities.

Get involved

We invite you to be a part of this vital process. If you live within Lourdes Hospital’s service area and would like to have your voice heard, take the 2025 CHNA. All your answers are completely anonymous, and the survey only takes a few minutes. Your input is invaluable in helping us understand and address the health needs of our community.

Together, we can build a healthier future for everyone.

Learn about the community health needs assessment at Mercy Health.

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