Two Local Hospitals Assess Health Needs Through 2025

WEST READING PA – Residents of municipalities within the primary service areas of five Tower Health-owned hospitals, including those in Pottstown and Phoenixville, can benefit from programs in four “key health issues,” according to their just-released community health needs assessments.

Health equity, access to equitable care, access to behavioral health, and health education and prevention are to be collectively tackled by Pottstown, Phoenixville, and the three other Tower-owned hospitals through 2025, their assessments state.

Tower Health released documentation for the assessments Tuesday (July 12, 2022). They are required to be conducted by tax-exempt hospitals every three years under the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act regulations.

“The information provided in the Community Health Needs Assessment is critical to the current and future health and wellness of our communities,” P. Sue Perrotty, Tower Health president and CEO, said. “By continuing to develop and invest in the programs and services our families, friends, and neighbors need,” the system can help ensure success for the future, she noted.

Just how the hospitals address the identified needs will be the subject of reports to be published during November, health system Vice President of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and Community Wellness Desha Dickson said.

Summaries of assessment results are available on the websites for Pottstown, here, and Phoenixville, here, as well as those for Chestnut Hill and Reading hospitals, and St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children. Tripp Umbach, a private health care consulting firm, was hired by Tower Health in 2021 to conduct regional research and create assessments for all five.

All are accompanied by graphically illustrated documentation (Pottstown’s is 93 pages long; Phoenixville’s, 91 pages) and appendices. They represent aggregations of results from surveys, focus groups, conversations, and data gathered from among community leaders, interested parties, residents, and community stakeholders, Tower Health said. More than 4,000 people participated regionally, it added.

Pottstown’s primary service areas cover the Pottstown, Royersford, Boyertown, Douglassville, Earlville, and Gilbertsville zip codes, and portions of four others. Phoenixville’s primary services area also cover Pottstown and Royersford zip codes, in addition to Norristown, Collegeville, Kimberton, Mont Clare, Phoenixville, Spring City, Audubon, Eagleville, Cedars, Oaks, Valley Forge, and Parker Ford.

The new assessments also described how hospital initiatives met needs identified during 2019. The Pottstown document reported on the success of its Street Medicine Program for the homeless, launched in January 2021. Phoenixville cited its work with a COVID-19 mobile vaccine clinic and vaccine collaborations with the Chester County Health Department.

Pottstown Community Health Needs Assessment cover photo provided by Tower Health