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Lee Health Board Approves Plan to Improve Community Health

Press Releases

Posted:

FORT MYERS, Fla. (Apr. 8, 2021) --- Lee Health’s Board of Directors recently approved the Community Health Needs Assessment Implementation Strategy and will begin executing the 2020-2023 plan, based on the needs identified in the Community Health Needs Assessment Report.

The report identifies the health system’s four top priorities and the Implementation Strategy outlines methods to address these needs. The four priorities are access to healthcare services, cardiovascular and respiratory conditions (includes stroke and tobacco use), mental health and substance use disorder and nutrition, physical activity and weight (includes diabetes).

Last November, Lee Health announced the release of the 2020 Community Health Needs Assessment, a systematic data-driven report that studies the health status, behaviors and needs of people living in Lee County. The purpose of the assessment is to identify major health concerns, gaps in services and other factors that may contribute to less than optimal health status for local residents.

“Based on the results of this process, the health system, its hospitals and community partners have worked together to develop strategies to address the highest areas of need,” said Chris Simoneau, chief foundation and development officer for Lee Health. “Implementation of programs identified in the plan are system- and community-wide and capitalize on opportunities to improve the health care delivery model and the health status of the residents of Lee County.”

Some program initiatives highlighted in the plan include:

  • The launch of healthy cooking demonstrations in conjunction with food distribution partners
  • Support community collaborations to increase behavioral health programs and services
  • Vaping and tobacco prevention education programs and initiatives targeting youth and young adults
  • Community collaborations addressing transportation as a barrier to access
  • Provide screenings, education and referrals in partnership with community stakeholders
  • Increase provider involvement in physical activity recommendation for improved health outcomes.

“As a health care leader, Lee Health is committed to advancing health and wellness in the communities we serve,” said Larry Antonucci M.D., MBA, President and CEO at Lee Health. “We look forward to working with our community partners to continue to provide life-changing programs and services.”

The implementation plan integrates Lee Health’s mission and commitment to ongoing investments in the community to improve overall health of the community through strategic partnerships, strengthen integration and connection of health programs and services for defined populations and decrease avoidable hospital utilization and readmission. 

Not-for-profit hospitals and health systems are required to assess community health needs and provide community benefit reports annually every three years. Lee Health has been doing this for many years prior to such a requirement.

Further information about the Community Health Needs Assessment and its implementation plan is available at www.leehealth.org/about-us/community-affairs/community-health-needs-assessment.

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