Help People Be Independent

Help People be Independent

United Way seeks to make investments toward measureable progress to increase access and reduce barriers to health and behavioral resources in health care and community settings and increase access and reduce barriers to social and vocational opportunities.

Under the Affordable Care Act, nonprofit community hospitals are required to conduct community health assessments (CHA) every three years. A community health needs assessment is critical to a vital Community Benefit Program that builds on community assets, promotes collaboration, improves community health, and promotes innovation and research. A community health needs assessment helps the community build capacity to support policy, systems, environmental changes and community health improvement.  Data from the most recent studies conducted by Fargo Cass Public Health*, Clay County Public Health**, Essentia Health***, and Sanford Health**** provide themes and key findings that were used as a base for the United Way’s strategy surrounding BOLD Goal #3.

We know that what makes us healthy is more than just clinical care, genes, and biology.  80% of what makes an individual healthy is:


Locally, we are seeing an increased need for mental and behavioral health services.  This need intensifies when paired with the many barriers faced by individuals and families who are economically disadvantaged and underserved.  United Way sees an opportunity to target investments to increase access and reduce barriers to health and behavioral resources in health care and community settings, specifically by increasing health and safety services for underserved communities and removing barriers to access public benefits and health resources. 

According to the CDC, nearly 90% of people with severe depressive symptoms reported difficulty with work, home, or social activities related to their symptoms.  Just over one-third of people with these symptoms reported having seen a mental health professional in the past year. Furthermore, persons living below the poverty level are nearly two and half times more likely to have depression than those at or above the poverty level. Almost 1 in 7 people living in poverty had depression compared with only 1 in 17 people living above the poverty level. *****

Additionally, United Way sees an opportunity to increase access and reduce barriers to social and vocation opportunities by increasing opportunities for vulnerable individuals to maintain appropriate levels of independent living and increasing employment and social integration opportunities for vulnerable individuals. In this specific strategy, there is a high level of emphasis on underserved seniors.

Trends show that the number of people 65 years and older is expected to double between 2000 and 2030. ******  This continues to lead to an ever increasing need for senior services.  It is clear that helping individuals age in place and maintain appropriate levels of independent living is more cost effective, not only for each individual but the community as a whole. 

We are not currently accepting proposals for this community goal.  More details about the next grant cycle will be published in fall 2020.

For additional information on our strategy, please see the previous Notice of Funding Availability.


Sources:
*Cass Fargo Public Health | Community Health Assessment 2015/2016
**Clay County Public Health | Community Health Improvement Plan 2015-2019
***Essentia Health | 2016 Community Health Needs Assessment
****Sanford Health | 2016 Community Health Needs Assessment  
*****CDC | National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, 2009–2012
******CDC | Public Health and Aging: Trends in Aging