Skip to main content

Addressing Community Health Needs

Ideas into Action

To help North Dakota communities address the top health needs identified through their Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA), models and examples are listed on this page as potential resources. Not all ideas listed will apply or be practical for all communities; rather it is a list of ideas that could be modified or tailored to fit your needs, or serve as a springboard for new ideas.

These ideas are not evidence-based best practices. Rather, they serve as additional qualitative data and can act as conversation starters to help think of activities that may have worked in other rural settings in North Dakota. For more information on evidence-based practices, check out County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, "What Works For Health." It may be helpful to look at those and then cross-reference to these ideas for what is feasible in a rural context.

On This Page:

Do You Have An
Innovative Idea?

Do you have an innovative idea?

Access to Needed Equipment/Facility Update

  • Acquire new or updated equipment (i.e. CT scanner)
  • Publicize when new equipment has been purchased to explain how it is beneficial to community
  • Update website to include information about new equipment and technology acquisitions

Aging Population Services

  • Promote public transportation services
  • Offer mobile screening services so seniors don’t have to leave their home
  • Offer meals on wheels

Attracting & Retaining Young Families

Cancer

  • Form cancer support groups for patients and caregivers
  • Promote online support groups though Cancers Survivors Network sponsored by American Cancer Society
  • Promote skin cancer awareness at local events
  • Form a Knitting for Charity group to knit hats and blankets for chemo patients

Chronic Disease Management

  • Provide space and equipment for fitness center
  • Offer mobile diabetic screenings in community
  • Organize a community event related to physical activity and/or nutrition, such as walk/run-a-thon, healthy food potluck, etc.
  • Organize speaker for community Senior Group to raise awareness of diabetes, serve a healthy meal, and distribute healthy eating recipes
  • Institute a wellness page on hospital website
  • Implement comprehensive, sustainable wellness and disease management program based on improving baseline health numbers (e.g., weight, BMI, body composition, cholesterol, glucose, blood pressure) through evidence-based practices, shared medical appointments, and a health coach
  • Implement health coach program in which coaches work with patients on self-management skills, nutrition counseling, etc. during the four-week period following hospital or clinic discharge; through either telemedicine or home visits

Concerns of Low Customer Service & Quality of Care

  • Provide comment box in waiting room to allow for anonymous customer feedback
  • Ensure a clean and quiet waiting room with updated magazines
  • Hold employee trainings on confidentiality

Cost and Adequacy of Health Insurance

  • Support community awareness of Medicaid Expansion
  • Promote open enrollment of Marketplace
  • Invite statewide Navigator program (located at Minot State University) to conduct community education on options
  • Promote North Dakota Department of Human Services website for financial assistance and healthcare coverage application
  • Launch marketing campaign to increase access and awareness of Marketplace and other options such as sponsoring education, articles in the paper, interviews on radio

Elevated Level of Uninsured Adults

  • Hire financial service counselor who can educate patients about insurance policies
  • Hire a Medicaid Expansion Navigator
  • Refer people to North Dakota’s health insurance navigator program
  • Post requirements of Affordable Care Act on hospital website, along with resources relating to meeting those requirements
  • Distribute flyers in clinic about requirements of Affordable Care Act
  • Organize a speaker for senior groups or other community clubs about the requirements of the Affordable Care Act

Elevated Rate of Adult Smoking

  • Use social media to advertise availability of smoking cessation assistance
  • Promote nicotine replacement therapies in hospital waiting rooms
  • Set up tobacco prevention booth and give cessation presentations at oil field/business health fairs
  • Place information about quitting at “man camps”
  • Display visual representation of healthy vs. diseased lung at high school
  • Create smoke-free environments through policy changes

Elevated Level of Excessive Drinking/Alcohol Use

  • Partner with Safe Communities Program for beer goggle simulation and reaction simulation
  • Develop public service announcement and videos of real alcohol- related accidents from own communities
  • Collaborate with student groups to produce video/media campaign to educate that “buzzed driving is drunk driving”
  • Park “drunk driving car” (car that has been damaged as the result of an alcohol-related crash) outside of high school
  • Collaborate with law enforcement to increase random checkpoints for driving under the influence
  • Collaborate with law enforcement to perform no-consequence breathalyzer tests in bars to promote awareness and education about levels of intoxication, along with distributing information about excessive and binge drinking
  • Collaborate with city council to make the approval of liquor licenses contingent on all servers taking server training
  • Develop poster to use at fair booth about prescription drug abuse and proper disposal of prescription drugs
  • Develop media campaign (based on CDC and attorney general’s office models) to present on local cable and radio about prescription drug abuse and proper disposal of prescription drugs

Emphasis on Wellness, Education & Prevention

  • Engage with employers in area to offer blood pressure checks, promote awareness of physical therapy services, and offer prevention education services (e.g., prevention of diabetes, chronic disease, and back injury)
  • Offer one or more cooking classes to educate participants about healthy eating and diabetic meals
  • Dedicate space in hospital newsletter, as well as space on hospital website, to a “Wellness Update”
  • Use hospital newsletter and website to educate community members about services and facilities available within the community and from consumers’ health insurance companies
  • Send hospital staff member to wellness program training
  • Host booth at community festival which highlights alternative, healthy cooking and baking options
  • Partner with senior center and other community organizations to offer dinner and dance class to encourage wellness and healthy recipes
  • Engage with county extension service and public health to find ways to promote community wellness events and activities
  • Implement comprehensive, sustainable wellness and disease management program based on improving baseline health numbers (e.g., weight, BMI, body composition, cholesterol, glucose, blood pressure) through evidence-based practices, shared medical appointments, and a health coach
  • Launch media campaign through radio, newspaper and website to raise awareness and education about cancer screening services and obesity services
  • Implement weight management program that includes meal replacement program and nutrition coaching
  • Offer “Stepping On” program, which helps older people reduce falls and increase self confidence in situations where they are at risk of falling
  • Offer 12-week weight management program that features comprehensive health evaluation along with detailed exercise prescription, dietary/eating suggestions, three months of fitness center membership, ongoing monitoring of health measures, mobile phone apps for recording progress, follow-up phone calls, weekly weigh-ins, and one-on-one guidance with a physical therapist to teach use of exercise equipment

Healthcare Workforce Shortages (physicians, visiting specialists, healthcare professionals)

  • Increase postings on hospital’s social media sites, including Facebook, that convey vision of future healthcare delivery and present a positive message of where the hospital is going
  • Form Marketing Group involving hospital, economic development, Chamber of Commerce to promote strengths of community
  • Hold meeting/workshop with community members who meet with physician candidates and share a consistent, positive vision of the future of healthcare delivery in the community
  • Support local student in medical school
  • Prepare written and visual materials about the future medical facilities to share with physician candidates that will present the short-term and long-term vision of what future healthcare will look like
  • Engage with medical school residents to encourage them to return to community to practice medicine
  • Work with Center for Rural Health on physician recruitment
  • Work to build stable, well-liked staff of nurse practitioners and physician assistants that includes both female and male providers
  • Implement or increase use of Telehealth programs, including emergency Telehealth
  • Present recruitment efforts in a better light by using professionally designed and printed marketing materials that include information about hospital services, clinic services, and community information
  • Create a video to highlight the hospital’s work and community’s assets, to recruit providers as well as educate community members about available services; send it on a flash drive to prospective provider candidates and show it at the local theater prior to movies
  • Apply for grant funding to assist with travel costs (airfare, hotel, etc.) associated with community visits by physicians (and their spouses) being recruited by the hospital

Financial Viability of Hospital

  • Meet with stakeholders and community groups to help disseminate information and tell story of hospital’s strengths/value of to community (tourism, economic development)
  • Increase promotion and marketing of current services by improving web presence, developing marketing campaign (possibly featuring patient testimonials), sponsoring weekly newspaper column, and using local electronic marquee
  • Promote locally available services to discourage local residents to travel for specialty healthcare services (e.g., surgery, etc.)
  • Explore alternate uses for hospital
  • Implement strategy to effectively communicate with community about hospital’s challenges
  • Communicate about finances and what’s behind “bad debt”
  • Educate community to help people understand why sales tax is needed
  • Reduce dependence on locum physicians through promotion and greater use of existing nurse practitioners and physician assistants
  • Expand geographic service area by marketing new nurse practitioners and physician assistants to nearby communities

Higher Costs of Healthcare for Consumers

  • Hire a Medicaid Expansion Navigator

Lack of Affordable Housing

  • Partner with North Dakota Housing Finance Agency (NDHFA) to increase stock of affordable housing
  • Advertise funds available from Housing Incentive Fund (HIF) administered by NDHFA
  • Appeal for more federal low-income housing tax credits (LIHTCs) in oil patch
  • Research zoning models in other U.S. cities for affordable housing policies and solutions

Lack of Collaboration with Community

  • Increase hospital presence at community events through sponsorship of events or information booths
  • Form steering committee with hospital representatives, public health, and other local healthcare providers to promote collaboration

Lack of Daycare

  • Offer incentives in the form of subsidies for licensed home daycare providers
  • Create babysitting online exchange through Babysitter Exchange
  • Promote Child Care Aware of North Dakota as resource to find local child care centers
  • Offer extended Clinic hours, in evenings and weekends, for working parents

Maintaining EMS

  • Research potential funding sources to assist with first responder training
  • Work with high school to encourage students to volunteer for emergency service careers
  • Organize event to recruit ambulance drivers
  • Explore alternate models of emergency care, such as community paramedicine

Marketing/Promotion of Hospital Services

  • Announce hospital services and schedule of visiting specialists on outgoing hospital phone line and run while callers are put on hold
  • Advertise clinic hours, visiting specialists on electronic signs in town (banks, community buildings)
  • Create hospital Facebook page
  • Distribute flyer listing services to local businesses
  • Partner with area businesses to host health fair and offer free food, screenings and advertise services
  • Develop professionally printed marketing materials that include information about hospital and clinic services, community information, and provider bio cards; distribute them to clients, patients, at community events, and at recruitment and health fairs
  • Run advertisements in local newspaper that promote and educate the public about some of the underutilized, and sometimes unknown, services offered by hospital
  • Create a video to highlight the hospital’s work and community’s assets to recruit providers as well as educate community members about available services; send it on a flash drive to prospective provider candidates and show it at the local theater prior to movies

Mental Health (including substance abuse)

  • Promote national suicide hotline: 1 (800) 273 TALK (8255)
  • Inventory available community services including oil companies’ safety offices and conflict resolution assistance.
  • Develop mental health screenings in schools; research granting agencies (Gates Foundation, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Helmsley Foundation)
  • Promote national suicide hotline
  • Develop network/resources for runaways
  • Increase promotion, through advertising and public relations efforts, of counseling services that currently are available, including those through Telehealth
  • Collaborate with schools on educational seminars for students about mental health issues and increase interaction with school counselors
  • Continue collaboration with ministerial groups, including potential training of group by social worker
  • Train Emergency Room personnel on how to effectively facilitate mental health committals, transportation, and other responses, including training on paperwork and patient interactions
  • Establish support groups (such as families with mental health crises, grief group) led by social worker

Not Enough Jobs with Livable wages

  • Promote jobs in healthcare as they tend to provide high paying jobs. Jobs.net website lists all jobs by North Dakota community
  • Create a liaison between hospital and area economic or jobs development corporation to promote economic impact of healthcare jobs. North Dakota CAHs have an average economic impact of $6.4 million and contribute about 220 jobs to the community
  • Start a local scholarship for health education with understanding recipient returns to the community for service for a specified period of time

Obesity & Physical Inactivity

  • Create and promote community facility available for indoor walking
  • Grant community access to school fitness center that includes weight and cardio equipment
  • Organize adult co-ed volleyball, pickleball, and basketball leagues
  • Promote availability of fitness opportunities though hospital website, cable television, post office signage, and via schools and churches
  • Partner with Extension Office to plant community or school garden
  • Develop community farmer’s market
  • Host a 5K or 10K race (running, walking, rollerblading, biking)
  • Implement comprehensive, sustainable wellness and disease management program based on improving baseline health numbers (e.g., weight, BMI, body composition, cholesterol, glucose, blood pressure) through evidence-based practices, shared medical appointments, and a health coach
  • Pilot wellness programs using hospital staff with the idea, “How can you get your community healthy if your staff is not healthy?”
  • Implement weight management program that includes meal replacement program and nutrition coaching
  • Hold monthly cooking classes focused on better nutrition choices with take-home recipes, informational materials, and placemats; incorporate blood pressure checks and cholesterol tests into the class time
  • Offer 12-week weight management program that features comprehensive health evaluation along with detailed exercise prescription, dietary/eating suggestions, three months of fitness center membership, ongoing monitoring of health measures, mobile phone apps for recording progress, follow-up phone calls, weekly weigh-ins, and one-on-one guidance with a physical therapist to teach use of exercise equipment

Sexually Transmitted Infections/Spreadable Disease

  • Contact North Dakota Health Department for STD informational material and supplies
  • Discuss with public health and primary care clinic how to collaborate to address the issue for the community
  • Work with the local school on sex education curriculum
  • Contact business community as part of worksite wellness education – include STD screenings
  • Use social media to raise awareness, especially among young people, of STDs and prevention strategies

Traffic Safety & Elevated Motor Vehicle Crash Death Rate

  • Sponsor defensive driving course through Highway Patrol for community members
  • Partner with ND Safety Council on projects
  • Promote Distracted Driving course at high school
  • Reinstate SADD (Students Against Distracted/Drunk Driving) at high school
  • Display wrecked vehicle during community events
  • Offer Defensive Driving course with speaker’s panel consisting of DUI victim and those who have been affected by drunk driving to share experience of loss and impact of loss
  • Have high school student create video about distracted driving and show movie as trailer at local movie theater. Hold community contest to see who can make most effective video
  • Promote public transportation on hospital’s webpage

Violence

Copyright @ 2002–2017 Center for Rural Health. All rights reserved.