Date of Award

2017

Document Type

Capstone

Degree Name

Master of Public Health (MPH)

Department

Public Health

First Advisor

Elise Bolda, MPH

Keywords

community health, needs assessment, patient protection, free clinics, Maine, Muskie School of Public Service

Abstract

Oasis Free Clinics offer free medical and dental services to uninsured, low income adults living in Sagadahoc County, Maine (with the exception of the town of Richmond) and the towns of Brunswick, Freeport, and Harpswell in Cumberland County and Durham in Androscoggin County. Oasis has filled a critical need in providing affordable health care to the working poor with the absence of Medicaid expansion in the state of Maine. The clinic offers wellness checks, women's wellness, prenatal care, chronic disease management, limited mental health counseling, a prescription assistance program and dental care.

Oasis Free Clinics will conduct a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) in 2017 to review how the organization is meeting the medical, dental and prescription assistance needs of the population it serves. The secondary data analysis will augment the organization’s primary data collection, which will include both quantitative and qualitative data. Oasis will use this information to identify any unmet needs of its population and review whether changes in policies, practices or methods can lead to better health outcomes.

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires nonprofit, tax-exempt hospitals to complete a Community Health Needs Assessment to identify prevalent health needs facing their communities and develop a written plan, or implementation strategy, which describes how the organizations will address those needs. This process encourages coordination between hospitals and the resources and stakeholders within their communities. Community Health Needs Assessments are also valuable tools for other types of organizations that promote public health, including free health clinics and state, tribal, local and territorial health departments.