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Press Release: Rawlins County Health Needs Assessment (CHNA)

County Seeking Local Input on Health Needs
Rawlins County is conducting a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) from October 1 through 31. The purpose of this assessment is to identify major community health challenges, gaps in service, and other factors that may contribute to unmet health needs locally.
“We hope that every Rawlins County resident, ages 18 and over, will participate in the survey,” said Karla Heble, Rawlins County Health Officer. “All of the health service providers in the county - whether medical, dental, vision, or other alternative medicine – need to understand what the true needs of our residents are, what prevents people from receiving care, and how we can improve services to better meet those needs.”Produced every three years, the CHNA provides critical data gathered from public surveys and focus groups to determine the health needs of Rawlins County citizens. The report will be published on the Rawlins County Health Center (RCHC), Rawlins County Dental Clinic (RCDC) and Rawlins County Health Department’s websites and printed copies are available upon request from these organization.
The first step in the CHNA process is a citizen survey, which is being conducted by a third party, Greater Northwest Kansas Community Foundation (GNWKCF). The public survey will open October 1. The goal is to get as many Rawlins County citizens as possible to respond to ensure every voice is heard.
Surveys can be completed online at until November 15. Paper copies in English or Spanish are available upon request by calling Rawlins County Health Department at 785-626-3968 or by emailing
“The survey is completely anonymous,” stated Carol Sloper, consultant from GNWKCF. “I know some people are hesitant to provide personal data or opinions in surveys, but there is no way to link responses to any individual. These surveys are confidential and anonymous. Without honest and complete feedback, the CHNA will not paint the true picture of Rawlins County’s health needs.”
Responses from citizens will help guide action steps in addressing the health needs in Rawlins County. Once the survey is complete, community input will be sought through a stakeholder forum open to the public to help prioritize goals, develop objectives, and establish a strategic plan to improve the health outcomes of Rawlins County.
“The CHNA is an essential part of the hospital leadership teams visioning,” stated Ronald Robinson, RCHC CEO and Administrator. “While it’s a requirement of critical access hospitals to comply with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010, we view it as more than just checking a box. It helps us take a look at the services we provide and how they are delivered compared to what our community really needs. It is a chance to make adjustments to ensure health equity in Rawlins County.”
In 2018, the CHNA outlined concerns regarding physical exercise / obesity, mental health, dental care, and access to care (including transportation). One question on the 2020 survey is to gauge whether there have been improvements made in any of these areas.
All citizens of Rawlins County are encouraged to take this survey. A link to the survey can be found on the hospital, dental clinic, or county health department’s websites, Facebook pages, or accessed directly at For more information about the survey, contact Suzanna Koel at RCHC at or 785-626-3211.