Dare County Department of Health & Human Services Director Dr. Sheila Davies presented the 2021-2022 Community Health Needs Assessment at the Town of Manteo’s Healthcare Task Force meeting that was held on Tuesday, September 13.
This comprehensive assessment of the health needs among citizens of the Dare County community is conducted every three years in partnership with The Outer Banks Hospital, the Dare County Department of Health & Human Services, and Healthy Carolinians of the Outer Banks.
The 2021-2022 assessment was part of a regional community health needs assessment effort across Eastern North Carolina that encompassed 33 counties, allowing Dare County’s community health needs to be compared with the health needs of a broader section of individuals throughout the region.
The information within the 280-page assessment is obtained through primary data—such as community surveys and a focus group with mental health counselors—as well as secondary data, which includes statistics from the N.C. State Center for Health Statistics, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other health organizations.
Once the assessment process is complete, the Healthy Carolinians of the Outer Banks, a partnership of community stakeholders, analyze the data and create prioritization rankings in order to identify the areas of greatest need as well as the feasibility of addressing the issues that were determined to be of the highest priority.
Following the prioritization process, task forces are created and action plans are developed and then monitored in order to track the success of the efforts that are undertaken to address the most pressing health needs throughout the Dare County community.
According to the 2021-2022 assessment and prioritization ranking process, the top three priorities to address in Dare County are mental health, substance abuse and access to care.