Data Collection and Methodology

The AHA collected and analyzed 3,000 community health needs assessments of non-profit hospitals and health systems from across the U.S. To identify priority health needs in each of the assessments, the AHA adapted the County Health Rankings Model to develop categories around the most common health challenges in communities, which included clinical care, medical conditions, social and economic factors, physical factors, and more. The CHNAFinder holds data from 2011-2016 CHNAs.

Available Data

AHA members can use CHNAFinder to identify potential partners to collectively address shared priority health needs in a community, state or across the nation. CHNAFinder’s interactive map tool holds the following information on each non-profit hospital or health system:

  • CHNA priority needs
  • Hospital demographics (e.g., size, location, type, etc.)
  • Link to full CHNA document

The interactive tool is searchable and customizable to the needs of users. Two different versions of the map tool provide users flexibility to collect data on state-specific health needs, or explore the overall impact of one or more health issues across the country. The collected data can be used to identify hospitals, health systems and locations across the country encountering similar health care issues. Additionally, CHNAFinder connects users with each hospital’s web page and CHNA page for easier access to information on potential partners and their existing or developing preventive programs.

Priority Health Needs

The priority health needs in each CHNA were placed in the following categories:


  • Access and Availability of Health Care Services

    • Availability - adequate and appropriate medical staffing, ability to get appointments/diagnostic testing/treatment when necessary, clinical staff recruitment, physical space for medical buildings
    • Coverage & affordability of care - uninsurance and underinsurance rates, access to insurance programs (e.g., Medicaid, CHIP), affordability of insurance, affordability of care
    • Emergency care - availability and accessibility of emergency department services; inappropriate use/over utilization of emergency department services; readmissions
    • Mental health services - availability and accessibility of mental health services and providers; coverage by insurance.
    • Oral health care - availability and accessibility of dental care and providers, including screenings, fluoride treatment, dental exams and follow up, and preventive oral health
    • Prenatal care - availability and accessibility of obstetricians and/or nurse midwives
    • Primary and preventive care - availability and accessibility of primary care providers, screening services
    • Specialty care - availability and accessibility of specialists
    • Transportation - ability to reach the appropriate health care services; includes transportation availability and distance/time needed to reach appropriate facility
  • Medical Conditions

    • Aging and elderly health conditions - end of life care, elder health issues (osteoporosis, arthritis, joint/chronic pain, dementia), depression, social isolation, fall prevention, Alzheimer’s and dementia
    • Behavioral and mental health - depression, bipolar disorder, personality disorders, ADHD, autism, affective disorders, anxiety-related mental disorders, emotional stability, schizophrenia, psychosis, eating disorders, and suicide
    • Cancer - all types of cancer. Include prevention, screening and treatment
    • Cardiovascular disease - heart and blood vessel diseases. Includes heart attack, heart failure, ischemic stroke, hypercholesterolemia, etc. Refers to acute events and prevention
    • Diabetes - Type 1 or 2 diabetes or pre-diabetes. Includes prevalence and screening
    • Disability - physical and mental disabilities (e.g., CP, Parkinson's, post-workplace injury)
    • Hypertension and stroke - uncontrolled hypertension, including hemorrhagic stroke
    • Infectious diseases - vaccination rates, influenza, pneumonia, hospital acquired infections (e.g., C difficile, CAUTIs, etc.)
    • Kidney disease - renal failure, dialysis rates. Includes prevalence, screening, treatment and prevention
    • Maternal and infant health - low birth weight, infant and maternal mortality, infant health problems, preterm births, pregnancy complications
    • Obesity - elevated BMI, includes overweight and obesity in children and adults
    • Respiratory diseases - allergies, chronic asthma, COPD, chronic bronchitis
    • Sexually transmitted infections – sexually transmitted infections including HIV/AIDS, HPV, herpes, etc. Includes prevention and treatment
  • Health Care System

    • Care coordination - coordination among providers and between systems; integration and coordination of care between providers across the care continuum; clinical integration; need for care navigators, community health workers, etc.
    • Chronic condition management - health care services, education activities and oversight to help patients control their chronic disease and maintain a reasonable quality of life. Not disease specific
    • Emergency/disaster preparedness – health system readiness for infectious disease outbreaks, storms, natural disasters, violence, etc.
  • Health Behaviors

    • Alcohol abuse - binge or heavy drinking, underage drinking, alcohol use by pregnant women
    • Fitness & lifestyle - access to and use of recreation and fitness facilities; promotion of active lifestyle
    • Maternal health - prenatal care; abstaining from smoking, drinking and drug use during pregnancy
    • Nutrition - consumption of healthy foods, including fruits and vegetables; understanding of healthy eating guidelines
    • Safer sex – prevention of unwanted pregnancy; access to and use of contraceptives; teen pregnancy rates and prevention
    • Safety - wearing seatbelts; abstaining from drunk driving; motor vehicle collisions/accidents; safe street crossing; bike helmets; safe environments for infants and toddlers
    • Substance use disorders – prescription and elicit drug use (e.g., heroin, meth, cocaine), opioid abuse, clean needles
    • Tobacco use - habitual use of tobacco, including cigarettes, pipes, cigars, vape pens, etc.
  • Social Determinants of Health

    • Community safety - violence, trauma, unintentional injury and violent crimes (e.g., assaults, homicide, gun violence), burns, domestic violence, child abuse and bullying
    • Disparities – equitable health, disparate health outcomes between population groups
    • Education - high school graduation rates, literacy rates, early childhood education, vocational training
    • Employment - job security, employment rates, availability of jobs
    • Food security - access and affordability of healthy food choices. Access to food stamps/SNAP
    • Health literacy - knowledge about healthy living, chronic disease self-management skills, cultural barriers to care, culturally competent health providers, knowing when to go to the ER vs. primary care, and understanding the need for treatment. Culturally appropriate health education/knowledge about prevention, knowing how to access to care
    • Housing and homelessness - access, affordability and safety of housing options (e.g., lead poisoning, mold, etc.); housing stability
    • Income - poverty, living wage
    • Physical environment - air and water quality, neighborhood recovery and restoration, safe space

CHNAFinder location icon

Log in and search for CHNAs by hospital name, state, or priority health needs.

CHNAFinder location icon

Employees from any AHA member organization can access the CHNAFinder map tool to look up priority health needs and CHNA's from any non-profit hospital in the U.S. Learn how to log in and use the map.

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The data in CHNAFinder is from 2011-2016. The AHA needs your help in staying current! Find out how you can submit your hospital's community health needs assessment data.