UP Health System identifies needs in Houghton County | News, Sports, Jobs

UP Health System has announced the release of its 2022 Community Health Needs Assessments (CHNA).

In a Thursday release, Marquette-based UPHS stated the assessment details the health status, behaviors and needs of people living in Marquette and Houghton counties.

“A CHNA is a systematic collection, assembly, analysis and dissemination of information about the health of the community,” states the release, “that helps to identify factors that affect the health of a population and determine the availability of resources within the community to address those factors adequately.”

Throughout 2022, UPHS has collaborated with local health care professionals, stakeholders and CNHA partner, Stratasan, to analyze public health data, interviewed many local subject matter experts and conducted online surveys with our community, hospital staff and providers to gain a better understanding of the health care needs in the region in which UPHS operates, the release states.

Nashville-based Stratasan is a health care strategic planning company that provides actionable market intelligence and data analytics for hospitals and health care systems.

The 2022 CHNA, which was released in October, states that 43 individuals from 40 community organizations collaborated to implement a comprehensive CHNA process focused on identifying and defining significant health needs, issues and concerns of Marquette and Houghton Counties. The three-month process centered on gathering and analyzing data, as well as receiving input from persons who represented the broad interests of the community, to provide direction for the community and hospital to create a plan to improve the health of the communities.

“Every three years, the CHNA process helps us to systematically evaluate the health status of our community and identify the issues of greatest concern,” said UPHS Market President and UPHS – Marquette Chief Executive Officer, Gar Atchison. “Doing so gives us the data we need to develop an informed strategy to address those issues and maximize the use of our resources.”

“We invite community-based organizations to use the information gathered in these reports to create their own health improvement goals and collaborate with one another when there is an opportunity so we can have the greatest impact,” added UPHS – Portage Chief Executive Officer Ryan Heinonen.

The 74-page document states that Marquette and Houghton counties were the primary focus of the CHNA due to the service area of UPHS-Marquette. Used as the study area, Marquette and Houghton counties provided 88 percent of inpatient discharges from January 1, 2021, through December 31, 2021. The community includes medically underserved, low-income and minority populations who live in the geographic areas from which UPHS-Marquette draws their patients.

Results yielded significant health needs for both Marquette and Houghton counties in mental health, access to care, substance use disorder, childcare/youth, housing, and healthy eating/active living, the release stated.

Among the key findings in the community health assessment section of the CHNA, based on the previous CHNA priorities, secondary data, surveys and focus groups, survey participants selected the following significant health needs to be the focus of the work of community over the next three years:

1. Mental Health (23 post its)

2. Access to Care (14 post its)

3. Substance Use Disorder (13 post its)

4. Childcare/Youth (6 post its)

5. Housing (5 post its)

6. Healthy Eating/Active Living (4 post its)

7. Other – socioeconomics, distrust, communication (4 post its)

The full reports are available for viewing and download on the UP Health System website, or by visiting:


Implementation plans that detail UPHS’s specific goals and actions to address the needs identified will be available in spring 2023.

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