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St. Mary's conducts community needs survey

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Albany/HV: St. Mary's conducts community needs survey
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Doctors and executive staff at St. Mary's Hospital in Amsterdam are looking to improve community outreach. So over the next few months, the hospital is conducting its largest-ever survey to find the right prescription. Mohawk Valley reporter Maria Valvanis has the story.

"What's out there that we need to understand and recognize and address from a community health needs perspective?"

That's the question St. Mary's Hospital President and CEO Victor Giulianelli is hoping to get answered, through an in-depth survey focusing on people in Montgomery and Fulton counties.

"This assessment will give us a better picture of the needs of our people and how we can better serve them," said Vice President of Mission Integration, Sister Danielle Bonetti.

Giulianelli said, "We identify gaps in service, and then we also create strategies to get at those gaps, to close those gaps."

Survey calls will be made to 750 people in both counties. Giulianelli said questions will focus on a range of issues that could affect your health.

He said, "Diagnosis people have, access to care, affordability. Do you have transportation? It will ask questions about nutrition, physical activity, use of substances, alcohol, drugs."

The new data will be incorporated into the hospital's strategic plan and will be shared with community agencies, such as Catholic Charities.

"We serve a lot of people who have health issues, whether they smoke too much, or they drink too much, or they don't take care of their weight, they're obese. So any information about how we can help our clients will be beneficial," said Catholic Charities Executive Director John Nasso.

Sister Bonetti said, "We see ourselves as a partner with people and maintaining their health. It's essential to our mission, and it's essential to us to be a good neighbor with our community."

The surveys will be conducted through the end of December. Hospital services are expected to be adjusted, based on the results in 2013.

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