National Jewish Health sees patients from around the nation and the world. Many patients come from Denver and the surrounding counties. For the purposes of this assessment, we have defined our community as Denver County and four contiguous counties — Adams, Arapahoe, Jefferson and Douglas counties — in which a majority of our patients live. As a tertiary care hospital focused on respiratory health, we have further defined our community as those who will benefit from diagnosis, treatment and prevention of respiratory disease.
National Jewish Health scrutinized published health data, held community input sessions, surveyed community health providers and consulted with our own faculty, who have extensive contacts and experience with the community, to understand the outstanding health needs of residents in our community.
Summary of Identified Health Needs
Our research identified community health needs, which we group into two categories: respiratory health and social and behavioral health.
Respiratory Health. Asthma and COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease) are the two most common and burdensome respiratory diseases in our community.
Social and Behavioral Health. Tobacco use, air pollution, education for providers and patients, access to specialty care and cost of medications and care are the most significant social and behavioral health needs in our community. Residents of Adams County face the most significant respiratory, social and behavioral health needs.
Selected Areas of Focus
Based on a combination of community need and National Jewish Health capabilities, the following areas will be the primary focus of additional efforts to address community health needs. Specific strategies and initiatives to address these areas of focus will be included in the Implementation Strategy Report, which will be available in November 2019.
Pediatric Asthma. Rates of asthma and especially rates of emergency room visits and hospitalizations among children living in the National Jewish Health community, along with universal mention of asthma among pediatric community health providers, suggests this is a large unmet community health need.
Education. Both providers and patients could benefit significantly from better understanding about respiratory health and ways to protect it, from educating physicians about handling difficult respiratory cases to educating patients about managing their disease and reducing exposure to respiratory irritants.
Access to Specialty Care. The popularity of our Comprehensive Respiratory Care Clinic and high rates of emergency care and hospitalizations for asthma and COPD, indicate that respiratory patients in our
community need better access to the knowledge and expertise of National Jewish Health.
**Board approval for the 2019 National Jewish Health CHNA was June 26, 2019.