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Community Health Needs Assessments

A community health needs assessment describes the community a hospital serves and identifies the health needs of the population.

It involves a systematic collection and analysis of data to provide the necessary information for decision-making. In the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, passed in March 2010, nonprofit hospitals are mandated to conduct a CHNA every three years and adopt an implementation strategy to meet the community health needs identified in the assessment.

CHNA Templates

*Topic-specific CHNA Improvement Plan Templates can be located in the drop-down menus below.

Top 10 Priority Health Issues

Identified by Missouri Hospitals and Community Health Resources

In 2023, MHA embarked on a journey to review CHNAs for all member hospitals that are required to complete this process. In the last three years ending in 2022, 71 hospitals met requirements to complete a CHNA and post it on their website. MHA’s comprehensive CHNA review process identified 10 priority health issues. These health issues are highly prevalent and cause significant health burdens to Missouri residents. Resources to implement successful community programs to address the issues are available below.

Also available are hospital-specific top priority health issues and links to CHNA documents for Missouri hospitals.

access the spreadsheet


A CHNA Implementation Plan is a systematic process involving the community that identifies and analyzes community health needs, as well as community assets and resources, to plan and act upon priority community health needs. This plan is used by health and other governmental education and human service agencies, in collaboration with community partners, to set priorities and target resources. It is critical for developing policies and defining actions to target efforts that promote health.

The implementation plan should define the vision for the health of the community through a collaborative process, and should address the gamut of strengths, weaknesses, challenges, and opportunities that exist to improve the health status of the community. Provisions under Section 501(r), added to the code by the ACA, imposes requirements on 501(c)(3) organizations that operate one or more hospital facilities (hospital organizations). These hospitals must now conduct a CHNA and adopt an implementation strategy that meets the needs identified at least once every three years. The CHNA requirements are effective for tax years beginning after March 23, 2012. In addition, hospitals must complete an IRS Schedule H (Form 990) annually to provide information on the activities and policies of, and community benefit provided by, the hospital. The implementation plan should be updated as community needs and priorities change, hospital resources change or based on evaluation results.

Contact An Expert

Stephen Njenga

Stephen Njenga

Director of Quality Measurement and Population Health Improvement

Send Email

573-893-3700 | ext. 1325

For hospitals needing additional services, such as primary and secondary data collection and analysis, facilitation of community input, survey design, writing the assessment, and development of an implementation plan, customized services are available through Quality Works, a subsidiary of MHA. CHNA support services are affordable, flexible and adapted to your needs. Prices range from hourly rates to package pricing.

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The exploreMOhealth website is one of the most unique health-related datasets in the country, offering both county- and ZIP code-level data. Data is the key to diagnosing and addressing some of our region’s most pressing health issues, and by making this information available to the public, both organizations are furthering their missions to improve health and the health care system.


Health Equity Dashboards

MHA developed a suite of four health equity-focused dashboards that offer previously unavailable granularity in health outcomes, health factors and social determinants of health for finite population segments and geographic areas in Missouri.


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