United Way NSV Works for a Healthier Community
Good Health is both a community responsibility and a community benefit: it goes beyond personal diet, exercise and the many other individual choices we make. The foundation for a healthy life is in the neighborhoods we have built and environments we inhabit. When people have access to parks, bike paths, safe playgrounds, healthy foods, and good medical care, they are more likely to succeed in school, work and life.
The 2017-2020 needs assessment identified the following as United Way NSV priorities through 2020:
I. Families and individuals are able to access quality and affordable health care which includes: physical, dental, mental health, and wellness.
II. Children and Youth have access to emergency and ongoing mental health and counseling services.
III. Reduce substance use/abuse and all its devastating consequences on individuals, families, and communities.
IV. Prevent and respond to domestic violence.
United Way NSV invested in Health programs over a 3 year Period (2014-2016). Understandably, some programs saw an overlap between all the priority needs.
How is United Way NSV investing in programs and services provided by area agencies that are addressing these needs?
Access to Affordable Health Care including Mental and Dental Health:
- Apple Country Head Start - Spot Vision Screener to perform vision screening, poor vision can directly affect learning so early detection of vision problems will benefit the students.
- Free Medical Clinic NSV - To provide medical visits for 850 of our chronic disease clients and cardiovascular and diabetes treatment for low Income individuals.
- Healthy Families Shenandoah County - Provides in-home support and education to parents of young children to address the local priority need for prevention of the effects of risk behaviors such as teen pregnancy and abuse/neglect.
- Northern Shenandoah Valley Dental Clinic - Provide dental screenings during the Healthy Living Events.
- Shenandoah Community Health Clinic - To provide counseling sessions and mental health services to patients.
- Shenandoah County Dental Clinic - To provide treatment to uninsured, indigent adults in Shen. County.
Needs of an Increasing Senior Population:
- Adult Care Center - Provide Certification of Music Therapist in a specialized Music and Memory program. Purchase equipment in order to improve and expand daily exercise sessions with clients, offer a weekly exercise class for family caregivers, and offer two community programs that focus on exercise and dementia. Nutrition and adaptive feeding tools for clients with Alzheimer’s and other illnesses.
- Faith in Action - To maintain capacity and increase service delivery by 15% providing non-emergency medical transportation to residents living in the City of Winchester and Clarke, Frederick and Shenandoah Counties.
- Shenandoah Area agency on Aging - Matching funds for Well Tran Program (transportation services offered transports those individuals who face barriers to transportation).
Prevention and Treatment of Risk Behaviors (abuse/neglect, teen pregnancy, substance abuse and HIV prevention):
- AbbaCare, Inc. - Update curriculum for educational classes and sexual integrity program for pre-teen/teen boys in the juvenile detention system.
- Aids Response Effort - HIV prevention activities that include both education and risk reduction tools, increased accessibility to free Rapid HIV Counseling, Testing and Referral (CTR) Services.
- Center CAC - Provide mental health treatment services to child abuse victims and their non-offending caretakers.
- CLEAN, Inc. - Rx123 outreach campaign to provide extensive education and awareness on the dangers of prescription drug abuse and addiction.
- Lord Fairfax House (COA) - Provide transitional residential scholarships for chemically dependent individuals.
- Northern Shenandoah Valley Substance Abuse Coalition - Provides funding for the treatment of five Drug Treatment Court individuals.
- ABBA Care, Inc. - Engage at-risk clients with prenatal education offering health awareness, referrals and resources.
- Girls on the Run - Participation scholarships.
Mental Health Education and Access to Care:
- Concern Hotline - Implement Mental Health First Aid trainings quarterly, and ASIST (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training) trainings. Add 2015 Sourcebook on their interactive website.
- NAMI - Strengthen and expand programs that directly help clients affected by serious mental illness, programs include, In Our Own Voice anti-stigma presentations, Peer-to-peer recovery education course, basic education courses and family to family education courses.
To see a full list of the impact grants awarded in the Health category click here.
Priority Needs Review (2014-2017)
- Affordable and accessible health/mental health care for people in need.
- Health needs of an increasing senior population.
- Prevention of the effects of risk behaviors (i.e. obesity, abuse/neglect, teen pregnancy and substance abuse).
- Mental health education and access to care.
The Needs (2017-2020)
Key findings from the 2017-2020 needs assessment for the health section are found below. To download the complete needs assessment see the link at the top of the webpage.
Access to Care:
- Four of six jurisdictions (Frederick, Page, Shenandoah, and Warren) ranked in the bottom half of all counties in the “access to care” category of the County Health Rankings. The 2016 County Health Rankings measures have changed slightly for the Access to Care indicator to include ratio of population to mental health providers. (Figure 4.1)
- Page, Shenandoah, Warren and Winchester have higher percentages of uninsured residents than the State of Virginia average. (Figure 4.4)
- Concerns about access to care were the most frequently mentioned factor contributing to poor health in key informant interviews.
- Lack of accessible or reliable transportation to health care and a lack of providers who accept new Medicaid and even Medicare patients were the most frequently mentioned specific access to care issues in interviews, especially for low-income individuals and senior citizens.
- Thirty-two percent of survey respondents reported not being able to always get needed basic primary care due to no insurance and 14.4% reported that they could not afford the medical care. (Valley Health)
Mental and Behavioral Health:
- Clarke County and Page County are classified as Medically Underserved Areas (MUA). For an explanation on the MUA classification, please see page 9 in Appendix D. (Figure 4.6)
- Page County and Shenandoah County are classified as having dental and mental health professional shortages. Warren County and Winchester are classified as having dental health professional shortages. (Figure 4.5 and 4.6)
- Mental and behavioral health was the second most frequently mentioned health status issue by key informants. Interviewees generally reported that the community’s mental health needs have grown, while the mental health service capacity has not. (Valley Health)
- According to suicide death rate data from the Virginia Department of Health our region has had a sharp spike in suicide deaths since 2010. (Figure 4.11)
- The main concern mentioned by key informants was connecting patients with services needed. Wait times are very long for patients to see a clinician. (Valley Health)
- Substance abuse affects not only the individual substance user, but those around them; negatively impacting health, safety and risky behaviors, including violence and crime, adult productivity, student ability to learn, and families’ ability to function.
- Opioid overdose deaths have been a rising issue within our community. Data from the Virginia Department of Health show the increasing number of opioid deaths since 2011. (Figure 4.9)
- Deaths from drug overdose are expected to increase an additional 25% in 2016.
- A measure of alcohol use based on binge and excessive drinking placed Clarke and Frederick counties in the second quartile of all Virginia Counties, according to County Health Rankings report. (Figure 4.3)
- Substance abuse was a major concern and mentioned frequently by key informant interview participants. It was portrayed as a growing and serious issue. (Valley Health)
- Substance abusers are often classified as offenders, and have limited options for seeking treatment.
Youth Mental Health:
- The major concern mentioned by key informants was the need for more providers to care for children with mental and behavioral health issues. The Winchester Community has limited resources for this type of community need. (Valley Health)
- 20.6% of middle schoolers in the Lord Fairfax Health District (LFHD) seriously thought about killing themselves. This outpaced high schoolers of which 12.7% considered attempting suicide. (Figure 4.14 and 4.15)
- 6.8% of middle schoolers and 5.3% of high schoolers attempted suicide. This data outpaces the US average of 1.9% and Virginia Average of 2.8%. (Figure 4.14 and 4.15)
- For every dollar spent on drug use prevention, communities can save $4 to $5 in costs for drug abuse treatment and counseling.