Johns Hopkins seeks residents' input to determine local health needs

Coalition of hospitals and the Baltimore City Health Department issue 14-question, anonymous online survey focusing on physical, social, and economic factors that impact health as well as questions about COVID-19

Exterior photo of Johns Hopkins Hospital

Credit: Will Kirk / Johns Hopkins University

Baltimore's hospitals and the city health department are working together over the next two weeks to ask city residents to detail their most urgent health needs, including how they have fared during the COVID-19 pandemic, through an online Community Health Needs Assessment survey.

The hospitals are gathering the information through Oct. 9 to update health programs they have been tailoring to area communities since the surveys were initiated in 2013 by the Affordable Care Act. But hospitals need more residents to participate in the survey to get a complete picture. Because of the pandemic, hospital representatives cannot go door-to-door to directly distribute the surveys—a process that helped supplement the last online survey in 2018.

For the second time, all hospitals in the city—including Johns Hopkins Medicine hospitals—are combining efforts to collect the broadest array of feedback for their individual Community Health Needs Assessment plans and implementation strategies. The 14-question, anonymous survey includes questions related to the physical, social, and economic factors that impact health. It also asks about the impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

Once the surveys are completed, hospitals will use the feedback from their respective zip codes to gain an updated understanding of community health needs and adjust their programs and services accordingly.

Johns Hopkins has scheduled six focus groups to assist in gathering a broad range of needs. They include sessions with homeless residents, individuals involved with the justice system, and those suffering from substance use disorders. In addition, two sessions will be tailored specifically to Spanish-speaking residents in and around Baltimore.

Hard copies of the survey can be requested for distribution in English and Spanish by contacting Hospitals will be collecting completed surveys through Oct. 9. For more information, call 1-800-492-5538.