A Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) is a systematic process involving the community to identify and
analyze community health needs. The process provides a way for communities to prioritize health needs, and to
plan and act upon unmet community health needs.
CHNAs may be conducted by a variety of organizations. Each Critical Access Hospital (CAH) must conduct a CHNA
once every three years, as mandated by the Affordable Care Act. Local public health units seeking to gain or
maintain accreditation must conduct a Community Health Assessment every five years. Many methods exist for
conducting an assessment, but generally include:
Community focus groups
Interviews with community leaders
Population health and other health-related data
Understanding the Significant Healthcare Needs in North Dakota Communities
North Dakota's CAHs identified several different health needs through the 2014-2016 CHNA process and again in
the 2017-2019 process. Many individual communities selected needs similar to each other's as the most
significant for their community. The top needs across North Dakota for the 2017-2019 cycle were:
Ability to retain primary care providers
Attracting and retaining young families
Having enough daycare services
To view and compare individual communities’ identified needs, click on the map below.
CHNA Reports and Implementation Plans
A hospital prepares a strategic implementation plan as a blueprint for meeting identified needs. A public health
unit prepares a Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). For a complete list of CHNA reports, strategic
implementation reports, and CHIPs, see the Individual
Hospital CHNA Reports and Implementation Strategies.