NEWS RELEASE: Results of the Ottawa County Community Health Needs Assessment to be released

Bookmark and Share

healthy ottawa

March 1, 2021

Identifying & Addressing Ottawa County's Health Needs

Media Contacts
Patrick Cisler, Community SPOKE & Lakeshore Nonprofit Alliance, 616-594-7133
Kristina Wieghmink, Ottawa County Department of Public Health, 616-510-8523
Anna Bednarek, Community Mental Health of Ottawa County, 616-393-5648
Jennifer Schmitt, Holland Hospital, 616-394-3372
Jennifer Van Skiver, North Ottawa Community Health System, 616-847-5296
Ashley Kiekintveld, Spectrum Health Zeeland Community Hospital, 616-748-3610
Liz DeLaLuz, Greater Ottawa County United Way, 616-610-1339


Community members and stakeholders have joined forces once again to identify the current health needs in Ottawa County. This year-long study, known as the Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA), systematically examines the health status indicators for Ottawa County. The information was gathered through interviews of more than 1,500 people (individuals, health care professionals and community leaders) to provide a comprehensive picture of the Ottawa County community’s health and well-being. This endeavor is an opportunity for community partners to work together, dig deeper, ensure sustainability, monitor change over time, target limited resources and listen to the community.

The information collected in the CHNA is used to:

  • Prioritize health issues and develop strategic plans.
  • Monitor the effectiveness of intervention measures.
  • Examine the achievement of prevention program goals.
  • Support appropriate public health policy.
  • Educate the public about disease prevention through dissemination of information.

"Every three years we conduct a deep dive assessment of the health and well-being of the people in Ottawa County," said Executive Director Patrick Cisler with Community SPOKE & Lakeshore Nonprofit Alliance. "The data in this report help us take a pulse on the overall health of the community, provide the basis for grant funding and is instrumental in directing much of our collective work."

The CHNA results will be shared virtually on Thursday, March 11, 2021, from 1:30 – 3pm. Presenters will highlight which health indicators are improving and which ones are not. Additional information during the event will be shared about how this study revealed some of the challenges the community faced amid the COVID-19 pandemic, how it affected their health and well-being and the broader population's health status. Find out answers to questions like:

  • How prevalent are chronic diseases in our community?
  • Does obesity continue to be on the rise?
  • Have mental health indicators gotten worse during a pandemic year?
  • How accessible is healthcare to residents?
  • Has vaping surpassed traditional cigarette smoking? 
  • Do health disparities exist in Ottawa County?
  • What else do we need to know about the health of the community?

The CHNA event will include an update on the progress of Ottawa County’s 2018 Community Health Improvement Plan, which was designed to actively address some of the community’s greatest health concerns. Attendees will also have the opportunity to provide input on where the community should focus its efforts moving forward. The improvement planning engages the community in developing and implementing strategic solutions.

"I strongly encourage you to participate in this important rollout and be a part of the planning process to help us determine how to improve upon the outcomes that will be shared," said Cisler. "I also ask you to please consider who else you might invite to this important meeting."

Learn about the current health needs in Ottawa County.
Be a part of the planning on how we can address them.

March 11, 2021 from 1:30 - 3pm


Previous assessments identified three health priority areas; access to care, mental health, and healthy behaviors. These priorities guided the strategies developed in previous improvement plans. Funding from numerous agencies, such as those from the Healthy Ottawa advisory council, and grants from the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation and the Community Foundation for the Holland/Zeeland Area have enabled the continued progress of these strategies.

More information about community assessments and planning at

HEALTHY OTTAWA ADVISORY COUNCIL: Community Mental Health of Ottawa County, Community SPOKE, Greater Ottawa County United Way, Holland Hospital, North Ottawa Community Hospital, Ottawa County Department of Public Health, Spectrum Health Zeeland Community Hospital

Healthy Ottawa

VISION: Healthy people living in healthy communities.
MISSION: To achieve positive health outcomes for Ottawa County community members by partnering to identify health needs, develop sustainable plans, and implement strategic actions.
VALUES: Equity I Collaboration I Excellence I Best Practice

healthy ottawa footer