Pahrump efforts continue on pinpointing medical service needs

Officials will continue to seek public’s input on Pahrump’s needs for medical services.

At the meeting on Thursday, officials conducted Community Health Needs Assessment that sought to gather input from the community on its health care needs, but those who were unable to attend the event can submit their comments online.

John Packham, director of health policy research at Office of Statewide Initiatives at the University of Nevada, Reno School of Medicine, said Nevada Office of Rural Health and the Office of Statewide Initiatives oversees a wide-range of technical assistance and grant programs for rural hospitals and communities.

“It is really up to the hospital and community to identify solutions, including new services, to address needs identified in the Community Health Needs Assessment. While my office and our role is to typically take a step back, I am always interested in working with hospitals and communities on developing strategies to improve health and health care,” Packham said.

The Pahrump Community Health Needs Assessment is funded by one of the grant programs, the Nevada Rural Hospital Flexibility Program, which supports community health needs assessments for any requesting Critical Access Hospital in Nevada.

Survey underway

Paper copies of the survey were distributed at the meeting, however those who were unable to attend can complete the online survey at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DVHospital

The survey will be open until May 15.

Survey results and the recommendations of the assessment will be shared at a follow-up meeting later this year, Packham said.

“Every Community Health Needs Assessment tends to reveal unique sets of community needs,” Packham said. “With that said, what we typically find in rural needs assessments in Nevada are unmet needs and service delivery gaps for chronic disease, behavioral health, and mental health.”

“Our ability to document and priorities health needs for Pahrump and the communities served by Desert View Hospital is to then see what new or expanded services the hospital might consider developing to better serve community members,” Packham said.

In some cases, rural hospitals are unable to develop or provide more specialized services such as dialysis but can still find innovative solutions such as contracting with other providers to deliver those specialized services.

The Nevada Flex Program has worked with the hospital for over a decade since it became a Critical Access Hospital.

For more information about the Nevada State Office of Rural Health visit http://med.unr.edu/rural-health

For more information about Nevada Flex Program visit http://med.unr.edu/rural-health/flex

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