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Executive Summary

About the Franklin County Health Needs Assessment

The Franklin County Health Needs Assessment was performed to gain a better understanding of the greatest health needs of our community. To conduct the initial assessment, all available public data was collected and analyzed to assess health indicators of Franklin County.

Health indicators are a broad range of factors used in combination to provide a snapshot of the health of a specific population.

Factors considered may include:

  • Health
  • Behaviors
  • Environmental and social influences
  • Health system performance

Once the health indicators of Franklin County were obtained, they were compared with state-wide and national indicators. When a Franklin County health indicator performed worse than the state or national average, that indicator was considered to be a health need of Franklin County.

From these indicators, health needs were grouped into major categories and prioritized.

The Ohio State University's Wexner Medical Center (OSUWMC) has developed strategies and implementation plans to address Franklin County's identified health needs. 

The Franklin County Health Map2013 provides the full detail of the process, participants and methodology; as well as the indicators used to determine health priorities.

Who Participated in the Assessment?

Ohio State's Wexner Medical Center participated in the Franklin County Community Health Needs Assessment, in partnership with:

  • Central Ohio Hospital Council (COHC)
  • Central Ohio Trauma System
  • Columbus Neighborhood Health Centers
  • Columbus Public Health
  • Franklin County Public Health
  • Heart of Ohio Family Health Centers
  • Lower Lights Christian Health 
  • Mt. Carmel
  • Nationwide Children's
  • Ohio Health
  • OSU College of Public Health
  • United Way

A full listing of participants is included on the inside cover of the Franklin County Health Map2013.

About the HealthMap

The Franklin County Health Map2013 is an invaluable tool for the community. The HealthMap is divided into eight areas of priority health needs and contains more than 140 health indicators. It lists the community resources that currently address Franklin County's health needs and also identifies areas where more resources are needed.

The Franklin County HealthMap 2013 will be updated every three years, consistent with federal requirements.

Franklin County HealthMap2013 Identified Health Needs

When a Franklin County health indicator performed below average, compared to state and national statistics, the indicator was identified as a health need.

According to the findings of the Franklin County Health Needs Assessment, the following are the top health needs of Franklin County residents:

1. Access to Care

Franklin County emergency departments (EDs) are used more frequently than the state average. Franklin County residents utilize the ED for less severe issues more often than the state average.

Franklin County adults have more difficulty in accessing dental care when compared to the state average.

2. Chronic Disease

Chronic diseases — such as heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes — are the leading causes of death and disability at the local, state and national levels.

In Franklin County, over 60 percent of all deaths were due to chronic disease.

Franklin County has a higher rate of both adults and youth diagnosed with asthma compared to state and national averages. 

The rate of adults in Franklin County diagnosed with diabetes is slightly less than the state average, but is slightly higher than the national average. There is also a higher prevalence of obesity, a risk factor of diabetes, in Franklin County adults.

3. Infectious Disease

Franklin County's incidences of infectious diseases, especially those that are sexually transmitted, are higher than the state average.

Franklin County rates for pertussis and tuberculosis are higher than the state average.

The Franklin County rates for two hospital-acquired infections — methicillin-sensitive Staphylococcus Aureus (MSSA) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus Aureus (MRSA) — are slightly higher than the state average.

4. Behavioral Health

A wide spectrum of psychiatric disorders is prevalent in Franklin County; including depression, chronic mental health conditions, substance abuse and post-traumatic stress.

From 2006 through 2008, suicide was the tenth leading cause of death in Franklin County. The overall rate in Franklin County was 12.4 suicide deaths per 100,000 people. This was higher than the state average (11.3 per 100,000) and the national average (11.3 per 100,000).

5. High Incidence of Cancer

In Franklin County, cancer is the second leading cause of death.

The top five cancer mortality rates in Franklin County are lung, colon, breast, pancreatic and prostate.

Franklin County has a higher mortality rate than the state average for lung, breast, and pancreatic cancer, but a lower mortality rate for colon and prostate cancer.

Franklin County has a higher percentage of adults receiving screenings for cervical, breast and colorectal cancers than the state and national averages; however, testing for prostate cancer is lower than state and national averages.

6. Interpersonal Violence

The Franklin County homicide rate is higher than the state average.

Higher percentages of Franklin County children are in families in need of services; however, lower percentages suffer sexual abuse, compared to the state average.

Franklin County adults have a higher percentage of victims who suffer injuries than adults statewide.

7. High-Risk Pregnancy

In Franklin County, the infant mortality rate and the percentage of low birth weight babies is higher than the state average.

8. Unintentional Injuries

Unintentional injuries are injuries incurred from things such as: motor vehicle accidents, pedestrians being struck by motor vehicles, falls, poisoning, drowning, fire, bicycle accidents and suffocation.

In Franklin County, unintentional injuries are the leading cause of death for children between the ages of 1 and 14 and are the fourth leading cause of death for all ages.

Trauma patients seen in a Franklin County hospital in 2010 were treated mostly for falls and motor vehicle accidents.

OSUWMC Implementation Plan

The Franklin County HealthMap involves continually collecting and analyzing information about the health status of Franklin County residents. This information enables us to take a more strategic approach to improving the health of our community.

OSUWMC is an academic medical center with many academic affiliates. This allows us a unique opportunity to partner with other providers in the community to address both the symptoms and underlying causes of health problems in a cost effective manner.

Our academic affiliates include:

  • College of Dentistry
  • College of Medicine
  • College of Nursing
  • College of Ophthalmology
  • College of Optometry
  • College of Pharmacy
  • College of Social Work
  • OSU Extension
  • OSU Outreach and Engagement
  • School of Health and Rehabilitation Science

OSUWMC's Approach to Meeting the Identified Health Needs

In addition to continuing and improving existing programs, Ohio State's Medical Center will also build strategies that focus on the following identified health needs:

  • Access to care
  • High-risk pregnancy
  • High incidence of cancer

The services that OSUWMC and our affiliates provide often serve low-income members of the community with diverse racial and ethnic backgrounds. These services also provide an avenue of learning, research and innovation that can influence the health professions educational process among our colleges and schools. In addition, this process will play a vital role in supporting programs that increase diversity among the next generation of health professionals and enhance their ability to interact with people from a variety of cultural backgrounds.

Our community-based approach will:

  • Determine what will be most effective based upon historical experience
  • Engage formal and informal leaders
  • Build local leadership
  • Create positive norms in the community
  • Identify and build upon existing assets

The OSU Commitment to Healthy Communities Logic Model

The OSU Commitment to Healthy Communities Logic Model is a listing of activities designed to address the health needs identified by the Franklin County HealthMap 2013.

View the Health Model by health need or by college: