Attachment 2: Community Service Plan - Question and Answer Document

Q: What are the Department's expectations of hospitals in the first year of this community partnership?

A: While this type of public health collaboration has been ongoing in some areas of the state for many years, this is a new initiative for many hospitals and community partners. As with any new initiative, the Department expects there to be successes and challenges that will arise from this process. The best practices and barriers that emerge as all participants gain experience will be valuable tools for improvement as we move the Prevention Agenda forward.

Q: What if a hospital is only able to choose 1 of the Commissioner's priorities, instead of the 2 or 3 that is recommended?

A: The Department strongly encourages hospitals to participate in this collaborative process and select 2 or 3 of the Commissioner's priorities. The community partnership should be able to identify 2 to 3 priorities that fall within the mission of each hospital and their community partners.

Q: If a hospital serves many counties, is it the Department's expectation that the hospital will partner with multiple County Health Departments?

A: The Department recognizes that it may be difficult for hospitals to partner with all the potential counties in assessing the needs of the community. Hospitals and LHDs should discuss ways to analyze data and establish a way to work together on the assessment and planning processes for their mutual benefit. A hospital may want to consider partnering with the LHD for the county where a majority of the hospital's patients reside or with a particular LHD to address a priority that affects residents of that county. Alternatively, hospitals can consider a regional planning approach to address the selected priorities. To the extent possible, this kind of decision should involve all of the LHDs related to the hospital.

Q: Does this new process shift the responsibility for improving the health care of the community to the hospital alone?

A: No. This initiative is not intended to shift responsibility to any single entity. This collaborative effort is intended to involve many entities to assess, plan, implement and monitor strategies to address public health needs. We anticipate that LHDs and hospitals act as co-conveners of the community assessment and planning process and that the CSP and CHA reflect collaboration between community partners.

Q: What happens if a hospital does not collaborate with community partners to address Prevention Agenda priorities?

A: Hospitals are currently required to solicit the views of the community and receive input on service priorities in accordance with PHL Section 2803-l. With this new initiative, the

Department will expect to see collaboration with community partners reflected in a hospital's CSP. While participation in this initiative is not statutorily required, the Department is confident that hospitals will agree to participate for the benefit of the communities they serve.

Q.: Do hospitals need to combine their CSP with the LHDs' CHAs?

A: Each entity should submit their required document to the Department: CHAs from LHDs and CSPs from hospitals. LHDs and hospitals may include data, analysis and problem statements that reflect the work of each other and the other community partners. One could envision that the community process yields a document that contains all the data, the priority setting work, and the activity/service planning that all partners can share and use in their respective submissions to the Department. This collaborative document would capitalize on the sharing of resources like data, manpower and brain power and allow each party to benefit from that work.

Q: What Department of Health resources are available?

A: Data and guidance pertaining to the Prevention Agenda can be found on the Department's website at the following link: It is strongly recommended that all participants make use of resources posted to this page.