Monterey County Health Needs Collaborative

“Natividad is proud to serve every corner of our community. From Big Sur to Prunedale to King City, our patients come to us to receive excellent health care. We appreciate the Community Health Needs Assessment for its role in helping us recognize and address the health issues hitting our diverse population the hardest.”

Natividad CEO Dr. Chad Harris

Monterey County Health Needs Collaborative is a group of organizations dedicated to improving the health of the Monterey County community. The partnership includes Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System, Mee Memorial Healthcare System, Natividad, the County of Monterey Health Department, and United Way Monterey County.

These trusted local entities have worked closely during the pandemic to provide our community with education, resources, vaccination clinics, testing, and more. Forming the Health Needs Collaborative is a way to broaden our partnership and leverage our resources to meet common health goals.

The Monterey County Health Needs Collaborative has released a comprehensive report on the health needs in Monterey County. The Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) was done with the support of the Hospital Council of Northern California and Professional Research Consultants (PRC), a recognized leader in community health research.

The 2022 Monterey County Community Health Assessment (CHNA) consists of both primary and secondary data including county level data, census data, vital statistics, online key informant surveys, customized local health surveys and other health related data. Data for many indicators are presented geographically and by sociodemographics when available.

From March through May 2022, more than 3,100 Monterey County residents anonymously shared their personal health information and opinions regarding their health status and opportunities for improving population health in our community. In addition, hundreds of community leaders completed key informant surveys and evaluated, discussed and prioritized health issues for the community based on findings of the CHNA.

Prioritized List of Community Health Needs

  1. Diabetes
  2. Mental Health
  3. Access to Health Care Services
  4. Nutrition, Physical Activity & Weight
  5. Heart Disease & Stroke
  6. Substance Use
  7. Housing
  8. Infant Health & Family Planning
  9. Injury & Violence
  10. Cancer
  11. Potentially Disabling Conditions

In addition to a comprehensive report for Monterey County, the Collaborative partners receive reports focused on specific geographic regions of primary and focus service areas, all of which are available for public viewing and use. It is noted priorities of health needs may differ among organizational service areas.

CHNA Results

The public now has access to the overall CHNA for Monterey County and individual hospital CHNA reports that provide a more focused assessment in primary and secondary zip codes of the hospital service areas. With this information, Natividad, other health care systems and community partners may analyze the data and create implementation strategies to improve health opportunities and services for our community.

Download the Community Health Needs Report for Monterey County

Read our Media Release

Sampling of Specific Findings

  • The self-reported health status for the Monterey County population reflects 10% identify themselves in excellent health, 71% in very good or good health, and 19% as fair or poor health.
  • The prevalence of diabetes is highest in the Salinas area (15% of the population), exceeding both the state prevalence (9.8%) and the US (13.8%). Diabetes is also most notable in the 65+ age group reaching 20%.
  • Mental health indicators for Monterey County reflect that 34% of county residents consider themselves to be in fair or poor mental health, 24% report being diagnosed with a depressive disorder and more than half (51%) report having experienced symptoms of chronic depression. Those categories most impacted by symptoms of choric depression include women, persons ages 18-39, very-low and low-income individuals and members of the LGBTQ+ community.
  • Unintended drug-related deaths climbed in Monterey County over the past four years to reach 15 per 100,000. This is equal to the state rate and below the national average of 21 per 100,000. More women in Monterey County (47%) say their life has been negatively affected by drug use by themselves or someone else than men (33%).
  • A significantly higher percentage of Monterey County residents report barriers to accessing medical care than reported nationwide. Nearly 53% expressed challenges simply getting a doctor’s appointment (15% nationwide); 36% finding a doctor (9% nationwide), 34% expressed inconvenient office hours are a barrier (13% nationwide) and 30% reported the cost of a doctor’s visit is a barrier (13% nationwide).
  • While 31% of Monterey County residents overall indicated they would be unable to pay cash for a $400 Emergency Expense, that number was higher in South County (35%) and Salinas (34%) than the Monterey Peninsula (24%).
  • 28% of Monterey County residents find it very or somewhat difficult to buy affordable fresh produce, with Salinas and South County residents disproportionately impacted.
  • The leading cause of death in Monterey County during 2020 (most recent county vital statistics) was cancer (18.2%), followed closely by heart disease (17.9%) while COVID-19 placed third (8.5%). The prevalence of cancer was most often detected in those age 65 and older (27.7%).

About the Monterey County Health Needs Collaborative

Monterey County Health Needs Collaborative is a group of organizations dedicated to improving the health of the Monterey County community. The partnership includes Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula, Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System, Mee Memorial Healthcare System, Natividad, the County of Monterey Health Department, and United Way Monterey County.

These trusted local entities have worked closely during the pandemic to provide our community with education, resources, vaccination clinics, testing, and more. Forming the Health Needs Collaborative is a way to broaden our partnership and leverage our resources to meet common health goals.