CHSD involves a steering committee to actively engage community members, a random
sample mailed survey, local focus groups and key informant interviews, and an implementation
planning process with the hospital’s leadership team. In recent years, the CHSD process
has been modified to comply with the IRS 990 Schedule H requirements for CAHs to provide
community benefit to their service area. To date, over 40 communities in Montana have
used the CHSD process to conduct a community health needs assessment to inform their
hospitals’ community benefit plan and improve the overall health of their community.
The Community Health Services Development (CHSD) project is a community health needs
assessment process that helps Montana Critical Access Hospitals (CAHs) engage members
of their rural community, identify and measure the community’s health needs, recognize
potential gaps in healthcare services, and develop specific strategies to prioritize
and address the health needs that were identified during the CHSD process.