As a nonprofit health care provider, Kaiser Permanente Northwest is dedicated to caring for the health needs of our communities and addressing the social and environmental factors that create barriers to health.

In order to better understand the needs and resources of each community we serve, we regularly conduct a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA). This process not only informs our community investments, helping us make long-term, sustainable change, but it also allows us to deepen the strong relationships we have with partner organizations and holds us accountable to our mission as we work together to improve community health.

Our carefully selected investments, the dedication of our organizational resources, and our long-standing commitment to providing high-quality care and service are an investment in the total health of the communities where we all live, learn, work, and play.

Our Process

Kaiser Permanente conducts a CHNA every three years to inform its community investments and meet federal regulatory obligations. The CHNA process provides a rigorous method for identifying high-priority health needs in communities and developing corresponding strategies to address those needs.

During the CHNA process, Kaiser Permanente collects information using a variety of tools and sources — public data and analytical mapping tools, online surveys, and listening sessions conducted with community members, representatives of underserved populations, community health workers, and local health system leaders — to identify a list of community health needs.

We then select which needs to focus on by considering which needs are most pressing and which needs we are best equipped to address with our unique organizational assets.

Please read our full CHNA to learn more about our methods, findings, and impact over the previous three years.

What We Discovered

Kaiser Permanente Northwest’s 2016 CHNA process illuminated five high-priority health needs that were most critical to the health and well-being of the communities we serve. These health needs will serve as the foundation for our community benefit efforts for the next three years:

  1. ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE — Access to high-quality, affordable, holistic, and culturally specific care.
  2. ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITY — The ability to meet basic needs through access to housing, jobs, education, and healthy foods.
  3. CHRONIC DISEASE PREVENTION AND TREATMENT — Prevention and treatment of chronic diseases and conditions such as obesity, type 2 diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, and cancer.
  4. MENTAL HEALTH AND WELLNESS — Access to mental health care that is integrated with primary care, substance abuse treatment, community safety, and violence prevention.
  5. ORAL HEALTH — Prevention and treatment of conditions of the mouth, teeth, gums, and throat that cause pain and disability leading to poor overall general health and an array of other health problems.

Please see our CHNA Executive Summary to learn about the high level goals and strategies for each priority health need, or our full Implementation Strategies Report for more in-depth information on the goals, strategies, and expected outcomes.

Healthy Columbia Willamette

Kaiser Permanente’s CHNA process was conducted in association with the Healthy Columbia Willamette Collaborative, a public-private partnership that we helped to co-found. We are grateful for the contributions of the 15 hospitals, four health departments, two Coordinated Care Organizations, and more than 20 local community organizations who have provided invaluable input for our continued work together.

Please see the Healthy Columbia Willamette Collaborative website for more information about the collaboration and to read the regional reports.