Author: Community Health Net

2022 Community Health Needs Assessment

Community Health Net is conducting this survey to identify health needs in Northwest Pennsylvania.  We need your input!

We are conducting a 5-minute Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) survey. It is a way of involving community members to identify Erie’s community health needs. The survey results also provide a way for us to prioritize, plan, and act upon unmet community health needs.

This is an ANONYMOUS survey. You must be 18 years or older to complete this survey. Please complete this survey ONLY ONE TIME.

Thank you for participating. Your feedback is important.

Community Health Net is the preeminent, community-focused healthcare network that advances the wellness of the region. Our mission is to improve our region’s quality of life by providing professional healthcare services with compassion, respect, and dignity to all. We are a Federally Qualified Health Center with seven locations serving the Lake Erie region for over 35 years.

June is National Men’s Health Month

Most of the factors that contribute to men’s shorter lives are preventable. This month let’s encourage early detection and treatment among men!

Get the Facts.

  • Nearly three-quarters of men prefer to scrub the toilet or do other chores than see a doctor for preventive care, such as annual checkups.
  • The leading causes of death for men in the United States are heart disease, cancer, and accidents.
  • Men are less likely to recognize and seek help for depression.
  • As a male, you are more likely to get type 2 diabetes at a lower weight than women.
  • One in six men will be diagnosed with prostate cancer in his lifetime.

Take Action

  • Get regular check-ups, and don’t be afraid to talk to your doctor about the uncomfortable stuff.
  • If you have chest pain, lightheadedness, back pain, or arm pain, go to the doctor.
  • Talk to your doctor about how often you should get a prostate exam.
  • Regular exercise and healthy eating can help prevent diabetes.

Symptoms of Depression

  • Feeling withdrawn.
  • Acting aggressive, irritable, and hostile.
  • Depression can also be seen in physical symptoms such as a racing heart, headaches, tightening chest, and digestive issues.
  • Deal with feelings by drinking, abusing drugs, or pursuing risky behavior.

In many cultures, it isn’t okay for men to be depressed because it is seen as “feminine.” But that isn’t true. Depression is a real problem that can affect any sex. Depression affects men in different ways than women. Having depression is nothing to be ashamed of. Talk to your doctor or trusted friend about how you have been feeling. If it is an emergency, do not hesitate to call 800-273-8255 or go to suicidepreventionlifeline.org.

 

Call Community Health Net to schedule an appointment with a provider today: (814) 455-7222. Or visit www.communityhealthnet.org for more information.

Our health information does not replace the advice of a doctor. Please be advised that this information is made available to assist the public to learn more about their health. Community Health Net providers may not see and/or treat all topics found herein.

Health Facts is a public service partnership of Community Health Net and CF Cares of Country Fair Stores, Inc.

How do we know the COVID vaccines are safe?

“We in this country are really privileged to have a very good, very robust system, that looks at vaccine safety. So, before any vaccine goes on the market there’s been months of tests to make sure that it is safe. Those months before vaccine goes on the market are meant to find common side effects that could be serious. And based on those results, we say, “Yes” or we say “No.” After a vaccine is approved it doesn’t mean we stop looking, right? We keep looking. And when we give it to a lot of people, millions and millions and millions of people, then we’re going to find the potential one-in-a-million side effect that could happen. When that happens, the right thing to do is to stop and say, “What happened here?” So, everyone knows how to treat this if they see it. And so, we don’t lose lives. And so, we don’t lose hope, and we don’t lose our faith in the safety of vaccines.”

How did we get a COVID vaccine so fast?

“The vaccine development did happen quickly. Often times the vaccines take years to develop, and this one happened in a much-condensed timeframe with scientists sharing information in real time across the globe, all laser-focused on the same exact problem. I think one of the things that’s been unique is so many people coming together and partnering in new ways. And I think doing things that previously we said, “Couldn’t be done.” Another important part of course, is the money. The government essentially removed the risk for the vaccine company so that they could do several of their processes’ steps simultaneously instead of consecutively. And so that meant a much-expedited process but with respect to the clinical trials process that actually was more robust than even was required in terms of the number of people within those studies. The fact that they included people of all different races and ethnicities, which actually they did a better job than usual in including different races, ethnicities, genders, age groups. They specifically included elders as well as people with different comorbid conditions like diabetes and high blood pressure. And so, they really did a very robust and large clinical trials to establish the safety and the effectiveness and that part of the process is no different than any other vaccine process.”

Do I need to get vaccinated if I had COVID?

“I’ve heard people say, “Well, I have had COVID so I’ve been exposed. Therefore, my immune system is producing the proteins or antibodies. So I should be good, right?” And we’re even telling the people that have been exposed to get vaccinated because we don’t know how long that natural immunity, that production of natural antibodies when you get exposed to it will actually last. We don’t know if it’s three months, six months, a year.”

How much do we know about mRNA?


“I have been doing clinical and basic science research for most of my career. I am a clinician-scientist. I started the Center for Women’s Health Research at Meharry, which was the first center that looked at diseases that disproportionately impacted women of color almost 15 or so years ago. So, I’ve been involved in research for a long period of time. So, one of the things that I knew is that the mRNA—the messenger RNA technology—has been in development for the last 12 years. So even though you hear this thing about warp speed, believe me, that did not warp speed. It just happened to be at a time, at a point in time, where it was ready for prime time. And, so, looking for a candidate vaccine to actually showcase this technology. So, I was very comfortable with that.”

Were Black people included in the COVID vaccine research studies?

“I was a part of the expert African American panel, which is a group of providers like myself, nurses, doctors, community, people, et cetera. That was created through the NIH to review the various different vaccine protocols for the different companies that were developing the vaccine. Taking off my hat as a clinician and a researcher, I have to go home and have conversations with my mom, with my dad and my grandparents about the vaccine and why taking the vaccine is important. Being on that—on the panel—and reviewing the protocols with the rest of my colleagues, it gave me great insight. So now I can have this conversation with you. I can have it with my family, and I can say, “Actually, we were represented in the trials, and this is the, you know, these are the numbers, et cetera.” And it makes, even with my patients, it makes for better conversations because I can have that discussion with them.”

What is emergency use authorization?

“The vaccines that are currently available were approved through a process called emergency authorization, which we need. We need to have the ability when there is an emergency to have medications on the market to meet that need. There are going to be future emergencies. This is not the first and it won’t be the last. There’s an opportunity for us to really say, “Yes, we have an average time that it takes to make—take a medication to market.” And if that’s on average, there are some medicines that take longer. I mean, and there are some medicines that we need today. And, so, we know that hundreds of thousands of people are dying in the United States alone, much less around the world. And, so, having an emergency authorization for these medications was critical, but that doesn’t mean any steps were cut. That doesn’t mean that it’s not safe and it’s not effective. That just means we needed it today. And we did. And we’re happy that it’s here.”

A Message from the CEO

It is well documented that African American communities have suffered far more from COVID-19.  Chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, substance abuse, living conditions, poverty,  poor access to quality healthcare, lack of access to fresh fruits and vegetables all contribute to an unfair experience with this pandemic.

Equally well known is the distrust of government, health care professionals, institutions, and science-based information by many Black Americans. The specter of the Tuskegee Syphilis Study, the experience of Henrietta Lacks, and other examples complicate the response to the COVID-19 pandemic in communities.

With vaccine distribution ramping up across the country, it is more important than ever that Erie’s African American community have credible and accurate information to fight against this deadly disease. That is why CHN is presenting content from Greater Than COVID’s “The Conversation.”  This weekly journal of over 50 videos from black health care workers answer questions and dispel misinformation that has filled social media and is an assault on Black communities.

Join the Conversation 

Call us at (814) 455-7222