Download Community Health Needs Assessment (PDF)


Over a two-year period, a steering committee from the Wabash County Hospital (WCH) conducted a county-wide Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA).

WCH sought out partners from every health and social service organization in the county. CHNA partners included:

Name Organization
Dr. James Bain American Health Network
Heather Banks Manchester University
Sharon Betzner Nurse Practitioner
Donna Bogert Youth Services Bureau of Wabash County
Shelly Boone Nurse Practitioner
Jessica Brown Otis R. Bowen Center
Jason Callahan Wabash City Schools Corporation
Stacey Cangany Miller’s Merry Manor Administrator (West)
Debbie Chinworth Manchester Church of the Brethren
Dr. Jared Coffman Wabash County Hospital
Dr. John Conner Conner Dentistry
Dr. John Crawshaw Wabash Internal Medicine
Dr. Maria Cuda Family Physicians Associated
Dr. Jennifer Drancik Hospitalist
Dr. Marvin Dziabis Wabash County Hospital
Eileen Gibson Wabash County Cancer Society
Dr. Sherif Elmasry Indiana Pediatric Associates, LLC
Barry Eppley County Commissioner
Dr. Stephen Fassino American Health Network
Beverly Ferry Living Well in Wabash County
Mitch Figert American Red Cross
Lori Foust Wabash County Health Department
Linda Gardner First United Methodist Church
Dr. Dean Gifford Wabash County Hospital
Scott Givens County Commissioner
Patty Grant Community Foundation of Wabash County
Dan Gray Wabash County Tobacco Free Coalition
Dan Hannaford North Manchester Town Government
Ann Hartsough Manchester Church of the Brethren
Dr. James Haughn Wabash Medical Center
Brian Haupert County Commissioner
Laura Helm 85 Hope
Dr. Pamela Higgins Manchester Clinic
Michelle Hutchinson North Manchester Missionary Church
Dr. Robert Jackson Wabash Orthopaedic Center
Tracy Jackson Wabash Orthopaedic Center
Jeff Jarecki Peabody Retirement Community
Cynthia Johnson Learn More Center
Margery Justice Department of Children’s Services
Dr. Stephen Kennedy Family Physicians Associated
Dr. Charles Kershner Wabash Orthopaedic Center
Dr. Sam Khan Wabash County Hospital
Kathy Komorowski Strauss-Peabody Aquatic and Fitness Center
Bill Konyha EDG of Wabash County
Clint Kugler Wabash County YMCA
Dr. Daniel LaMar Wabash County Hospital
Bob Land Wabash County Sheriff’s Department
Robin Lasser Autumn Ridge Administrator
David Lawrenz Timbercrest Senior Living Community
Lisa Lengle North Manchester Missionary Church
Dr. Jamie Lindsay Wabash Family Medicine
Scott Makin Friends Counseling Center
Dr. James McCann Family Physicians Associated
Tim McLaughlin North Manchester Chamber of Commerce
Dr. Jeffery Miller Ash Street Medical Building
Taisha Moore Wabash County Health Department
Shane Nevers Rolling Meadows Administrator
Stephanie Overman Nurse Practitioner
Jeffrey Perry North Manchester Police Department
Dr. Stephen Phillipp Summit Radiology
Kim Pinkerton Wabash County Chamber of Commerce
Dr. William Rauh American Health Network
Dr. Catherine Reese Wabash Gynecology Center
Bill Reichart Manchester Community Schools Corporation
Dr. Eric Reichenbach Manchester Clinic
Dr. James Rudolph Wabash County Hospital
Allison Sabin Doctoral Student
Megan Sarber Learn More Center
Dr. George Schneider Family Physicians Associated
Linda Schultz Women, Infants, & Children (WIC)
Charles Smith Wabash City Police Department
Dr. Hilton Sparks Ash Street Medical Building
Grace Stanley Nurse Practitioner
Kelly Stouffer Ford Meter Box
Dr. Lisa Strieter Family Dentistry
Jill Stout Mental Health America
Robert Vanlandingham City of Wabash
Deb VanMeter Wabash County United Fundand Healthier Lifestyle
Patricia Ward Miller’s Merry Manor Administrator (East)
Sandra Weaver MSD Wabash County Schools Corporation
Dr. Rose Wenrich Family Physicians Associated
Amanda Jones Layman Hands of Hope (Domestic Violence)
Julie Willmert Life Center
Jo Young Switzer Manchester University, President


The assessment was conducted to identify the most important healthcare issues for the people who live and work in Wabash County, the hospital’s primary service area. Over the course of two intensive workshops with community, the state of the County and its most pressing healthcare needs were pinpointed and prioritized. Through brainstorming and breakout sessions, all these needs were discussed.

The participants then identified the priority order of health issues that would be best addressed by Wabash County Hospital working collaboratively with other health and social service providers in Wabash County.

Once priority was determined, limited available resources dictated that the top four healthcare needs, as determined by the group of community leaders, would be addressed. The group broke into smaller committees to address each of the top four health needs identified and created implementation strategies for addressing these specific healthcare needs. Each committee was asked to develop a plan for addressing needs, according the Plan Guidelines, as outlined below. They were also asked to report back at the end of 2013.

Plan Guidelines

  • Determine exactly what the issue is.
  • Determine what is currently being done.
  • Determine what outcomes each committee will strive to achieve.
  • Determine how the outcomes will be accomplished and what actions will be taken to accomplish those outcomes.
  • Please note that the plan does not mean that issues will be solved. Instead, it will reflect steps that will be taken to try to improve these particular health needs in our community.

The CHNA studied health status, barriers to care, and other demographic and social issues affecting people and organizations throughout the county. This in-depth report will help Wabash County Hospital and other service providers make decisions about the future of healthcare and social services in the county by identifying problems and opportunities for proactive programs.

We encourage all users to find valuable and relevant information in the reports.


As our name indicates, the Wabash County Hospital primarily serves the people who live and work in Wabash County.

The mission statement of the Wabash County Hospital is as follows:

Wabash County Hospital is a not-for-profit county hospital committed to providing quality and value in comprehensive and compassionate health care to individuals and families.

Core values of the Wabash County Hospital are as follows:


In our relationships with the community, other service providers, and each other we will maintain high standards of truth, honesty, excellence, and quality, which will establish an environment of trust.

  • Truth/Trust: Assured reliance on character, ability, strength, and truth of our organization.
  • Honesty: Our organization will conduct all interactions in a straightforward and fair manner.
  • Excellence/Quality: Our organization is committed to providing the most appropriate state-of-the-art care to fulfill the needs of our community and those we serve.


We will provide a foundation for health and wellness for the community. We will be astute and responsive to present and emergent needs for caring, and we will pursue new relationships to continually increase our scope for the provision of care.


Using statistics compiled by various organizations, the CHNA taskforce studied a snapshot of the social, economic, and health status of Wabash County.

Below, in no order of importance, are some of the factors considered by the taskforce.

County Health Rankings

Through the process of discussion and break out groups, the following community health needs were identified and ranked in the following order:

Rank Health Need # Votes
1 Drug Use 17
2 Obesity 16
3 OB/Pre-natal 13
4 Health I.Q./Education 12
5 Childhood Nutrition/Free & Reduced Lunches/Healthy School Lunches 11
5 Urgent Care 11
6 Smoking/COPD 9
7 Dialysis 8
7 Transportation 8
8 Financial Instability 6
9 Women’s Shelter 5
10 Resource Guide/2-1-1 4
10 STD Testing 4
10 Underinsured 4
11 Adult Day Care/Respite 3
11 Diabetes 3
11 Sedentary Lifestyle 3
11 Teen Pregnancy 3
12 Child Care 2
12 Poverty 2
13 Access to Care 1
n/a Access to Physicians (PC & Specialist) 0
n/a Cancer Services 0
n/a Dental Care 0
n/a Mental Health/Counseling 0
n/a Ongoing Preventative Services 0
n/a Pediatrics 0
n/a Planned Parenthood 0
* Sexual Assualt (per a request, added after the mtg.)


The plans for addressing the top four identified health care needs are outlined below.

Health Education

Committee Members

Dr. Rose Wenrich Family Physicians Associated
Shane Nevers Rolling Meadows
Amanda Jones-Lehman Wabash County YMCA
Dan Gray Wabash County Tobacco Free Coalition
Jessica Brown Bowen Center
Kerri Mattern Wabash County Hospital

Health Education Committee members defined the category of Health Education as any medium that describes and defines the functionality and process of the human body as it relates to exercise, food consumption, disease, illness, and living. The topic was further broken down into Prevention and Intervention.

Prevention: Educating on community and individual levels to promote healthy lifestyles and hopefully preventing health issues.

Intervention: Educating individuals about treatment and services available for dealing with existing health issues.

Most unmet needs with respect to Health Education in Wabash County fall under prevention. There are few events or services that specifically target prevention rather than intervention. Events that do exist may not be as well attended as it seems to be harder to convince individuals to think in terms of preventing a future health issue. The citizens of Wabash County need information about how choices they are making today not only affect current health and lifestyle, but also their future health and lifestyle.

Events and services that target intervention—addressing an existing issue—are more successful. County resources are able to identify most issues and address them through existing services. The Health Education Committee members found there was a need to list all resources together in one document, making access easier for individuals. (Note: This need was also identified by the Maternal/Child Health Education Committee.)

Participants identified the top chronic disease prevention/management or health issues that Wabash County needs to address as smoking, nutrition, physical fitness, obesity, COPD as it relates to smoking, and heart disease.

There are currently several programs offered in the county that address the issue of Health Education, including:

  • Walk with a Doc
  • Healthy living initiative / corporate memberships at the Wabash County YMCA
  • Smoking cessation programs, Tobacco Free VOICE
  • Mental health services, support groups and counseling services, education events
  • Health Fairs
  • In-school programming
  • Kindergarten Round-up

New Ways to Increase Health Education

In an effort to encourage Wabash County residents to consider what they can do today to help themselves be healthier in the long term, the Health Education Committee members improved existing initiatives and developed new ones.

  • Health Fair: This is an established annual event, held in September each year. Through additional marketing, the free screenings and services offered at this effective and popular event were made more widely known to even more residents. Additional efforts such as posting signage at physician offices, handing out flyers at the hospital lab, X-ray department and physician offices, mailing postcards to all people who had received lab draws at past Health Fairs were discussed and implemented.

The 2013 Health Fair was held September 7 at the Wabash County YMCA. The well-attended event resulted in 224 metabolic profiles, 120 heart rhythm tests, 177 blood sugar tests, 91 flu shots, 75 BMI assessments, and more than 200 blood pressure checks.

  • Speakers Series: This new initiative gives an opportunity for a wide offering of Health Education topics. Dr. Rose Wenrich agreed to be the first speaker and chose the topic of nutrition, broken down into three lectures:
    • “The Anti-Inflammatory Diet” – Held September 19, 2013, this lecture drew 90 attendees. Because of the size of the room, we were unable to accommodate more than 50 additional requests to attend. This lecture will be scheduled again.
    • “Gluten: Why All the Fuss?” – Sixty people attended this lecture, held on October 17, 2013.
    • “Standard American Diet (S.A.D.)” – This lecture is schedule for January 16, 2014.
  • Gathering Testimonials: A powerful way to educate about the benefits of exercise, weight loss, and lifestyle change is through testimonials. In 2014, the Health Education Committee will highlight an individual who has made the necessary changes and seen the benefits of weight loss, such as getting off medication and increased energy.
  • •224 Metabolic Profiles
    •120 Heart Rhythm Tests
    •177 Blood Sugar Tests
    •91 Flu Shots
    •75 BMI Assessments
    •200 Blood Pressure tests

    Directory of Services: To highlight on-going services in the County, a re-vamped directory of services is necessary. This document would put all required information in one easy-to-access source. (This document was also identified as a need by the Maternal/Child Health Education Committee. They compiled it into a document that is available through this link.

Nutrition and Obesity Education

Committee Members

Deborah VanMeter Healthier Lifestyles
Tyler McQuiston Strauss Peabody Aquatic and Fitness Center
Patty Godfroy Wabash County YMCA
Clint Kugler Wabash County YMCA
Melissa Jimenez Peabody Retirement Community
Jan Vardaman Peabody Retirement Community
Dr. Rose Wenrich Family Physicians Associated
Teresa Witkoske Purdue Extension Office
Sarah Anquilm Purdue Extension Office
Don Barger Wabash County Hospital
Jane Bissel Wabash County Hospital
Heather Banks Manchester University
Kim Shininger Wabash County Hospital
Mary Schaeffer Wabash County Hospital

Nutrition and Obesity Education
was cited as a need in Wabash County. The Nutrition and Obesity Education Committee focused on the need to educate school-age children regarding obesity and wellness opportunities through better nutritional choices. Committee members decided to utilize an education program on an annual basis to help educate elementary age children and their parents on healthy life style and food choices. Educational programs to be held will use as many current resources as are available and will be held in Wabash and North Manchester to help meet the needs of the entire county.

New Ways to Increase Nutrition and Obesity Education

  • Fun programs with a variety of activities are an effective way to educate and involve children in wellness and fitness. The group identified and created an educational nutritional program, focusing on school age children, regarding obesity and wellness opportunities through better nutritional choices. Named “Fall into Fitness”, this event will be held annually at Peabody in North Manchester and at the YMCA in Wabash.
  • Two “Fall into Fitness” educational programs were conducted in October 2013. The first program was held in North Manchester at Peabody on October 15. Twenty-five children completed stations that either educated them or had them doing a physical activity. Participants were offered healthy snacks and provided with the recipes to prepare those items at home. Upon completion of all stations, the children were qualified for a drawing for a bicycle or iPod.
105 Children
2 Bicycles
2 Evenings of Healthy Fun

A second “Fall into Fitness” event was held at the YMCA in Wabash on October 24. The same format was used. However, based on knowledge gained from the first program, only a bicycle was offered as a prize item, as it was more in keeping with the theme of getting children to be more active and healthy. This event had 70 children attend with 48 children completing the events.

  • Planning for next year’s events has already begun. The committee will partner with the YMCA in April to add its program to an existing program involving local children. The committee feels this will be a good blending of resources and will reach a greater population of children.

Maternal/Child Health Education

Committee Members

Julie Willmert Life Center
Teresa Witkowski Purdue Extension
Lori Faust Wabash County Health Department
Taisha Moore Wabash County Health Department
Goldie Reynolds First Steps
Melissa Snyder First Steps
Dan Gray Wabash County Tobacco Free Coalition
Sandra Boone MSD of Wabash County
Andrea Olsen Wabash Family Practice
Julie Garber Wabash County Community Foundation
Jackie Bible Child Development Teacher (Retired)
Amanda Jones-Layman Wabash County YMCA
Linda Gardner First United Methodist Church, Wabash
Lisa Lengle North Manchester Missionary Church
Florence Tigler Wabash County Hospital
Allison Sabin Wabash County Hospital (Rush University DNP student)
Sonia Strevy Wabash County Hospital
Mitch Figert American Red Cross
Staci Kennedy Youth Services Bureau

Maternal/Child Health Education
was cited as an area in need of improvement in Wabash County. Although WCH does not have an obstetric unit, there are still obstetric providers and services available in the county.

New Ways to Increase Maternal/Child Health Education

The first step toward promoting Maternal/Child Health Education was to determine exactly what resources are available in the county. From that research, a directory of community educational services and resources was developed. This document has been published and available to the public. You can find it through this link. (Note: This need was also identified by the Health Education Committee.)

  • The directory has been distributed to service providers, agencies, resource persons, and other support organizations and locations where Wabash County residents may obtain referral. Electronic access via the hospital website for providers and referral sources has been added. You can find it through this link. (Add link here.)
  • The analysis of services available revealed a need regarding access to increased awareness of transportation available for those in need to attend educational services provided outside of the county. Efforts are presently underway to explore possible delivery of perinatal education programs in Wabash County.

Drug Abuse Education

Committee Members

Marilyn Custer-Mitchell Wabash County Hospital
Bob Land Wabash County Sheriff’s Department
Dr. Rose Wenrich Family Physicians Associated
Amanda Hanes Wabash County Hospital
Matt Graham Bowen Center
Members of the Wabash City Drug Task Force

Drug Abuse Education
was identified as a significant need in Wabash County. Educating children about not starting with drugs was seen as the most important focus. Education for schools, physicians offices, and parents was also identified as a vital component.

New Ways to Increase Drug Abuse Education

  • The Drug Abuse Education Committee determined that educating 5th & 6th grade students throughout Wabash County on the topic of drug use and teaching the importance of not starting to use drugs as key to their efforts. The Drug Task Force of the Wabash County Sheriff’s Department and the staff from the Bowen Center are developing a convocation program for the schools. A 32-page magazine-type booklet entitled “Your Life, Your…Choices” will be distributed during the program.

These programs are scheduled to be held in January and February 2014 as a convocation during the regular school day. Attendees will include 5th and 6th graders enrolled at Wabash City Schools, Metropolitan School District of Wabash County, and North Manchester School Corporation. More than 800 booklets will be distributed during these convocations.

  • Parents, guardians, school staff, and others need to be educated on the early warning signs of drug use, what to do if drug use is suspected, and how to properly store and dispose of drugs. An easy-to-use informational brochure was developed with this information. In early fall of 2013, the Bowen Center staffed a booth at all county school registrations sessions and distributed approximately 1,000 of the brochures to students and parents/guardians.
  • Information on “Safe Prescribing Practices” was mailed to all providers practicing in Wabash County. This information, in the form of a letter and document, was sent in October.

The letter included guidelines from the Federation of State Medical Board’s “Model Policy for the Use of Controlled Substances for the Treatment of Pain” and gave additional information on how to access online learning through the Indiana State Medical Association.

Thank you for your interest in the Wabash County Hospital’s Community Needs Health Assessment. The initiatives of the CHNA are ongoing and will be updated as progress is made.