Community Health Needs Assessment

Community Health Needs Assessment:
Establishing Health Priorities & Implementation Strategy


With the Mission to improve the health status of the people of the Hayward area, Hayward Area Memorial Hospital and Water’s Edge (HAMH & WE) is a 25-bed critical access hospital, 50-bed skilled nursing care center and 20 unit assisted living facility in Hayward, Wisconsin. Located approximately 80 miles South East of Duluth, Minnesota, Hayward Area Memorial Hospital serves a population of roughly 15,000 people. The majority (approximately 70%) of all inpatient admissions at HAMH&WE originate from the Hayward, WI zip code, which is considered the hospital’s primary service area.

This webpage shall provide a summary of HAMH & WE’s plan to create new and or enhance existing community benefit programs and services. The focus of this plan is to address the major community health priorities that were identified in the 2015 Community Health Needs Assessment survey which was conducted on behalf of HAMH & WE by the National Rural Health Resource Center located in Duluth, Minnesota.

The entire document can be read below or click on the following link to access the PDF of the document.

Community Health Needs Assessment 3.30.16


Hayward Area Memorial Hospital (HAMH) worked with the National Rural Health Resource Center (The Center) of Duluth, Minnesota to administer their Community Health Assessment process.

In the summer of 2015, The Center conferred with leaders from the hospital to discuss the objectives of a regional health needs assessment mailed survey. A survey instrument was developed to assess the health care needs and preferences in the service area. The survey instrument was designed to be easily completed by respondents. Responses were electronically scanned to maximize accuracy. The survey was designed to assemble information from local residents regarding:

  • Demographics of respondents
  • Utilization and perception of local health services
  • Perception of community health

The survey was based on a design that has been used extensively in the states of Minnesota, Montana, Wyoming, Washington, Alaska, Utah, California, Wisconsin and Idaho.


HAMH provided The Center with a list of inpatient hospital admissions. Zip codes with the greatest number of admissions were stratified in the initial sample selection. Each area would be represented in the sampling proportionate to both the overall served population and the number of past admissions. Eight hundred residents were selected randomly from Prime Net Data Source, a marketing organization. Although the survey samples were, proportionately selected, actual surveys returned from each population area varied. This may result in slightly less proportional results.

Zip Codes Included

54517                  Clam Lake
54821                  Cable
54828                  Couderay
54832                  Drummond
54838                  Gordon
54843                  Hayward
54859                  Minong
54862                  Ojibwa
54867                  Radisson
54875                  Springbrook
54876                  Stone Lake
54888                  Trego
54896                  Winter

Input from Broad Interests

  • Mailed 800 stratified randomly sampled surveys; 241 surveys were returned for a 32% response rate +/-4.91%

Prioritized Health Needs

On Wednesday, February 24, 2016, members of the hospital and hospital partners (the Team) were assembled to identify the top community health needs based on the community health assessment findings.

Team Members from HAMH include:
CEO – Tim Gullingsrud
Vice President of Administration – Brad Zeller (absent, 2/24/16)
Vice President of Senior Services – Heather Sheehan
Board of Director President – Barb Koerpel Duffy
Hospital Director of Nursing, RN – Sandy Harm
Quality Director, RN – Patti Patefield (absent, 2/24/16)
Patient Financial Services Director – Ann Gleichert (absent, 2/24/16)
Marketing/Communications Director – Cherie Morgan
Infection Prevention/Education Director, RN – Melody Ruehl
Emergency Department Nurse Manager, RN – Lisa Anderson

Team Members from the Community include:
Northlakes Community Clinic Manager – Stacy Kolkind
Essentia Health-Hayward Clinic Manager – Linda Parker
Sawyer County Director of Public Health, RN – Eileen Simak
Hayward Community Schools Superintendent – Craig Olson (absent, 2/24/16)
Lac Courte Oreilles Health Center Director – Gregg Duffek (absent, 2/24/16)
Northwest Family Connection Resources, Executive Director – Jacqueline Strand (absent, 2/24/16)

This Team rated the community health needs based on select criteria: responds to the public’s health needs, involves education or research that improves community health; responds to needs of special populations; reduces health care costs.

The top community health needs identified were:

  • Address access to urgent care services
  • Create awareness of specialty care services available locally
  • Integrate behavioral health services into primary care
  • Maintain customer loyalty
  • Engage the community in prevention/wellness activities
  • Role model wellness
  • Expand community collaborations

These needs were then evaluated based on urgency, feasibility within the hospital’s resources, existing community strengths, and opportunities to collaborate with other local organizations. The Team discussed each of the identified health needs.

With the goal of promoting positive perception of local health care and promoting existing healthcare services, the Team identified what HAMH can do to meet this goal. A facilitation method designed to achieve group consensus-based decisions that respects the diversity of participant perspectives, inspires individual action and moves the group toward joint resolve and action to be utilized. This method creates awareness about new relationships between data and acknowledges the level of the group’s consensus at any given moment. The conversation is aimed towards identifying actions HAMH can take towards addressing the community’s top health needs identified.

Team members began by individually brainstorming potential actions to address this goal. Team members then shared their ideas with a partner and identified the top potential actions they wished to share with the full group. These potential actions were posted on a Conversation Board for all to read and discuss. After the actions were organized, the Team collectively developed objectives to describe the potential activities HAMH could pursue as outlined in the table below.

Focused Question:
What activities can the hospital do to improve the community’s health?

Objectives: Communicate Healthy Behaviors Enhance Work Environment Foster Collaborations Explore Behavioral Health
Potential activities: Health topic of the month (collaborative emphasis)

Health care expert visibility

Specialists to speak on radio (Lifestyles North, WRLS 92.3FM)

No soda on campus


Recruitment & retention

Grow coalition

Collaborate with schools on adolescent health awareness

Community Coordinator


Share and learn mental health “best practices”

Build IP/OP Behavior Health Center

 Objectives: Offer Incentives for Healthy Behaviors Enhance/Expand Community Education Add Urgent Care Services Promote Healthy Community Activities
Potential activities: Health promotion activities (clinic, hospital campus)

Health expos

Health fairs/screenings

Footwear for firearms (Coupons given for surrender of guns)

Wellness punch card (Mammogram, Colonoscopy, Dental cleaning, Receive “chamber bucks”)

Incentives for staff who role model wellness


Health Educator position

Free community classes (Smoking, Weight loss, Etc.)

Parenting classes

Build Urgent Care Clinic (separate from hospital)

Urgent Care business plan

Add Urgent Care out of ER

Assess current urgent care services

Trail partners

Hold events on the trail

Community health challenge (read a book, increase physical activity)

Community events (community picnic, etc.)

Community walk around the world (equal distance to X place)

Provide garden plots

Campus community health wellness center

Addressing the Need

The list of potential activities, identified by the Team, was reviewed by hospital leadership and compared to existing promotional and outreach service offerings. Hospital leadership then developed strategies to address the identified health goals.

Strategies to Address Community Health Needs

In support of the FY 2017 – FY 2019 Community Health Needs Assessment, and ongoing community benefits initiatives, Hayward Area Memorial Hospital and Water’s Edge plans to implement the following strategies to impact and measure community health improvement.

Address Access to Urgent Care Services

Hayward Area Memorial Hospital recognizes the need for access to health care services during times that the primary clinics are not presently open. Currently, the only options available to patients needing care during the time that the primary care clinics are not open are to:
1) seek care in the Emergency Room which has a much higher associated cost and can result in significant delays in receiving care due to the unpredictable demand of emergency services;
2) travel to an urgent care service located in another community the closest of which is over 50 miles away;
3) wait to seek care until the primary physician clinic is open which could delay treatment for several days.

Goal:  To promote timely and care/cost level appropriate options for receiving care during times when the primary care clinics are not open.


  • Provide an option for the appropriate level of care during times the primary care clinic is not traditionally open
  • Offer a lower cost alternative to care than the much higher cost of care that is found in an emergency room setting
  • Decrease the need to travel to find urgent care services

Key Indicators:

  • CHNA survey results
  • Total number of patients seen in the urgent care setting
  • Door to provider time for patients presenting in the department
  • Total cost of care

Hayward Area Memorial Hospital and Water’s Edge Strategies:

  • Collaborate with existing primary care physician clinics to begin offering urgent care services
  • Create urgent care business plan, to determine if Hayward Area Memorial Hospital and Water’s Edge should offer urgent care services
  • Assess the financial impact of an urgent care service on the operations of the hospital.
  • If feasible, complete remodeling project that would provide space for an urgent care service immediately adjacent to the emergency department
  • If feasible, develop policies and procedures for urgent care.
  • Implement urgent care services.

Existing Community Assets & Resources:

  • Essentia Health Hayward Clinic
  • NorthLakes Community Clinic
  • Marshfield Clinic Hayward Center
  • LCO Tribal Clinic
  • VA Clinic- Hayward

Goal Progress (Fiscal Year 2017): 

  • HAMH opened Urgent Care on January 9, 2017. Hours were 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays. The community has welcomed Urgent Care and an average of 300-400 patients are being seen per month, with a line often forming before the doors open each day. Evaluation of the Urgent Care will continue in order to meet the demands and needs of the community.

Create Awareness of specialty care services available locally

Many residents living in and around Hayward find it difficult to travel a minimum of 50 miles to other communities to receive specialty care. Many specialists provide services in Hayward, however; community members needing these services are unaware that they are available locally.

Goal:  To raise community awareness of specialty care services available in Hayward


  • Increase awareness of specialty services available locally
  • Reduce the need to travel to receive specialty services
  • Increase in scope and frequency the number of specialty services traveling to the Hayward area

Key Indicators:

  • CHNA survey results

Hayward Area Memorial Hospital and Water’s Edge Strategies:

  • Create listing of specialty services available in the community and publish in the Sawyer County Record.
  • Discuss local availability of specialty services on the Lifestyles North radio program.

Existing Community Assets & Resources:

  • Essentia Health
  • Marshfield Clinic
  • DeFatta ENT
  • Johnson, Western Wisconsin Urology
  • Merrick Plastic Surgery and Hand
  • Momont, Orthopedic Associates – Duluth
  • N. Hans Rechsteiner, General Surgery
  • Sharaf, Cardiology, Eau Claire Heart Institute
  • Voss, Doctor of Audiology, Hearing Associates
  • L. Archibald, Hearing Instruments Specialist, Clarity Hearing
  • B. Holzhaeuser, Audiologists, Ashland Audiology
  • McClelland, Gastroenterologist, Memorial Medical Center
  • Florine, Opthalmologist, Northern Waters Opthalmology
  • Carlson, Orthopedics, Chippewa Valley Orthopedics & Sports Medicine
  • Mack, Podiatrist, Foot and Ankle Clinic

Goal Progress (Fiscal Year 2017): 

  • A comprehensive marketing campaign was completed in the Fall of 2016 in order to increase community awareness of healthcare services that could be received in Hayward. Many physicians use the newly renovated specialty clinic ranging from 2 days a week to 1 day a month. Advertising included newspaper, radio, website and brochures highlighting the specialty clinic, physicians and their specialties. Every physician providing services is also featured on the HAMH website and signage was improved for the specialty clinic noting physicians and their specialties. Several additional specialty care physicians see patients in the attached Essentia Health clinic and NorthLakes clinic.

Engage the community in prevention/wellness activities and role model wellness

Hayward Area Memorial Hospital and Water’s Edge recognizes the connection between lifestyle behaviors and chronic diseases. By focusing on education and prevention, we believe we can improve the quality of life for the members of our community while also reducing the overall lifetime cost of healthcare. We also acknowledge our role in the health of our community and the need for us to be role models of healthy behaviors.

Goal: To promote and role model healthy behaviors to our community which will result in an improved quality of life.


  • Improve awareness of healthy behaviors
  • Increase awareness of health activities available in our area
  • Offer healthy activities on our campus that allow residents of all ages an opportunity to increase their level of exercise

Key Indicators:  Performing Community Education Programs targeting “at risk” citizens.

Hayward Area Memorial Hospital and Water’s Edge Strategies:
Continue to educate individuals about the importance of health and wellness through:

  • Community lectures, presentations and workshops
  • Development and maintenance of walking, biking and cross country ski trails throughout the Hayward Area Memorial Hospital and Water’s Edge property
  • Explore the creation of a trail that would connect the current hospital property trails to the City of Hayward trail system
  • Refer citizens to appropriate programs and support groups to assist them in developing and practicing healthy lifestyle behaviors – (smoking cessation, Alcoholics Anonymous, Overeaters Anonymous, etc)

Existing Community Assets & Resources:

  • Sawyer County Health Department
  • LCO Boys and Girls Club
  • Hayward Community Schools
  • NorthLakes Community Clinic
  • Essentia Health
  • Northwest Connection Family Resources
  • Hayward Area Ski Trail Association (HASTA)
  • American Birkebeiner Ski Foundation (ABSF)
  • Chequamegon Area Mountain Bike Association (CAMBA)
  • City Of Hayward

Goal Progress (Fiscal Year 2017):

  • HAMH partnered with the Chequamegon Area Mountain Bike Association (CAMBA) to develop mountain bike trails on the hospital campus. Both 2K and 8K loops were created. The trails are available for fat tire biking in the winter months. The hospital trails were also expanded to connect to the city trails so people walking to the facility could do so safely and trail users no longer have to walk or bike on the highway in order to connect from one trail to another.
  • HAMH participates in community health expos including a Women’s Health and a Senior Center Health Fair to provide information on health screenings, safety and prevention, wellness information and free classes and support groups.
  • The organization’s Trauma Committee launched a safety campaign working with area schools, daycares, summer youth programs, outdoor events and Sawyer County Health & Human Services to provide bike helmets for children. Registered nurses helped fit the children with the helmets and talked to children about the importance of wearing helmets and safety equipment.
  • Wellness was added to HAMH’s strategic plan as a break-through initiative. A wellness subcommittee was been formed to develop and implement an Employee Wellness Program with a goal of enhancing staff mental, physical, financial and spiritual wellbeing. Wellness offerings that show positive results and are desirable to staff will be shared with the community.
  • HAMH’s Board of Directors approved plans for an additional 20-apartment expansion of our Assisted Living. The plans include a large space for holding employee and community wellness activities and educational seminars.

Expand community collaborations

Partnerships and collaborations are important in allowing Hayward Area Memorial Hospital and Water’s Edge to achieve its mission of improving the health status of the people of the Hayward area. By working with other entities, we will be able to pool our collective resources and achieve more on behalf of our community then any entity could accomplish on its own.

Goal: To partner and collaborate with other entities to create or enhance health related services to our community.


  • Seek opportunities to collaborate with other health care and governmental organizations
  • Leverage these relationships to enhance the services provided to our community

Key Indicators: Development on partnerships and collaborations

Hayward Area Memorial Hospital and Water’s Edge Strategies:

  • Continue membership and support in the Northern Wisconsin Health Network
  • Continue discussions with Essentia Health on a joint therapy program to include the areas of PT, OT and Speech
  • Identify and evaluate other opportunities for collaboration

Existing Community Assets & Resources:

  • Essentia Health
  • Northern Wisconsin Health Network
  • NorthLakes Community Clinic
  • Sawyer County Public Health
  • Hayward Community Schools
  • LCO tribe

Goal Progress (Fiscal Year 2017): 

  • In January 2017, HAMH partnered with regional clinics, Essentia Health-Hayward and Northlakes Community Clinic to provide a Mental Wellness seminar. Behavioral Health Professionals provided education on mindfulness and shared tips and techniques to maintain and improve to reduce stress and anxiety and improve overall mental wellbeing.
  • HAMH donated $3,000 to the Northwest Connection Family Resources for the purchase of car seats to be given to families in need.
  • HAMH further developed its Career Explorer Program which is a program offered to area high school students which allows an in-depth look at a variety of healthcare careers and provides an opportunity for hands-on learning throughout the hospital and senior living center.
  • HAMH is one of fourteen hospitals working with the Rural Wisconsin Health Cooperative to bring additional mental health services to rural Wisconsin.
  • HAMH is a member of the Northwest Wisconsin Healthcare Coalition which is a collaboration of private and public partners working together to prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies

Community Health Needs Not Addressed

Hayward Area Memorial Hospital has chosen not to focus on the following needs that were identified through the Community Health Needs Assessment and prioritization process:

Integrate behavioral health services into primary care – Hayward Area Memorial Hospital does not employ behavioral health providers and our social services department will work with these patients to refer them to the specific services needed.

Maintain customer loyalty – Customer loyalty is more a business and operational function and does not seem to fit into the spirit of a community health need.  Hayward Area Memorial Hospital and Water’s Edge is dedicated to maintaining and improving customer loyalty and will do so outside of the Community Health Needs Assessment process.

Implementation Strategy

  • Hospital leadership has determined that the Team will continue to meet on a regular basis to implement the strategies that will improve the communities overall health.
  • Meeting Schedule: Initially the Team will meet every other month with meetings scheduled on:
    • April 27, 2016
    • June 29, 2016
    • August 24, 2016
    • At the August meeting, meeting frequency will be evaluated and additional meetings will be scheduled.
  • During the meetings, the Team will operationalize the community health assessment action plan, which identifies the objectives, organizations responsible, a timeline, a list of partners and resources, and how the objective will be measured for success.


  • HAMH posts a summary of the community health needs assessment findings and implementation strategy online at
  • HAMH will distribute a press release of the community health needs assessment findings and implementation strategy in the local newspaper.


The Hayward Area Memorial Hospital and Water’s Edge Board of Directors is comprised of individuals from Hayward and the surrounding area. The Board of Directors approves the Implementation Strategy and Community Benefit Plan for the priorities identified in the Community Health Needs Assessment planning process. This report was prepared for the March 30, 2016 Board of Directors meeting. The report was approved at the meeting and the entire report with the Board President’s and Chief Executive Officer’s signature is available to print below.

Community Health Needs Assessment 2019-2021

Community Health Needs Assessment 3.30.16

Community Health Needs Assessment Report 2013