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We don’t always consider the vast array of benefits that spring up in a region served by some of the nation’s premier medical facilities and health organizations.

One of them occurred this week when more than 20 people from Geisinger, Evangelical Community Hospital, the state Department of Health, the Susquehanna Valley YMCA, Greater Susquehanna Valley United Way and other health care providers and county services gathered at the Buffalo Valley Lutheran Village in Lewisburg to discuss research findings and community health priorities of our region.

The effort is all part of the Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA), initiated by Geisinger, along with its partners, Allied Services and Evangelical Community Hospital in Lewisburg.

With the help of Baker Tilly, a research partner assisting with data collection,
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facilitation, reporting and planning, the group is working to gain a better understanding of the health needs across the region and encourage collaborative efforts to address those needs.

After reviewing the scope, severity and ability to impact several local issues, the group concluded that substance abuse and mental health were the top two priorities, followed by chronic disease management, access to care, healthy lifestyles and maternal and child health.

None of the priorities should be revelatory at this point.

“These conversations started the conversations that will lead to the right stakeholders getting together and continuing to work on the issues before us,” said Dr. Doug Spotts,
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the chief health information officer at Evangelical Community Hospital.

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