Universal Health Care Task Forces Completes Community Needs Assessment in Lewis & Clark County

The Universal Access to Health Care Task Force, appointed by the Board of Health in Lewis & Clark County, Montana, concluded the first phase of its work, a community health needs assessment. Members of the Task Force and the Montana Human Rights Network today presented a report of findings to the Board. The Task Force had conducted nine focus groups with community members across Lewis & Clark County to assess the health needs of community members and collect their suggestions for improving access to care. It also surveyed primary care doctors and dentists, and the community at large.

The needs assessment found widespread barriers to accessing care, largely due to the cost of care, provider shortages, and concerns about the local hospital. A majority of focus group participants and survey respondents believed that health care was a human right, and offered suggestions on how to move toward realizing this right in Lewis & Clark County.

NESRI helped prepare the in-depth research report on focus group participants‘ views and experiences.

The Task Force presented a summary of the first phase of its work to the City-County Board of Health.