Celebrating 20 years of Community Health Improvement

Community Health Improvement (CHI) is a deeply rooted commitment throughout Parkview Health. It is much more than just another acronym. Although CHI programs can be found at each of the Parkview hospitals, it is far from a “cookie-cutter” program. Established in 1998, Parkview’s Community Health Improvement (CHI) Program provides support to other community non-profit agencies that share a similar mission to help improve the health and well-being of the community. Each Parkview hospital uses its CHI funding to assist its local county’s unique needs. During National Community Health Improvement Week, June 3-9, we will be sharing stories of some of these CHI initiatives.

Last year, as one of several annual CHI programs, Parkview LaGrange Hospital completed a multi-year goal to equip all first responder vehicles in LaGrange County with an automated external defibrillator (AED). The initiative has included devices for the LaGrange County Sheriff’s department cars, police cars, and fire trucks in each local community in the county.

“Having the AED equipment in first responder vehicles around the county is truly a blessing,” said Tracy Harker, chief deputy, LaGrange County Sheriff’s Department. “Where we are located, an ALS (advanced life support) unit can be a minimum of 15 minutes away. If anyone at the scene of an accident or fire is showing symptoms of a heart attack, the AED can be used to restart the heart even before the ambulance arrives. This AED equipment has literally meant the difference between life and death.”

Like many fire departments in rural areas, those in LaGrange County rely on volunteer fire fighters. If someone is having a heart attack, the AED talks the rescuer – even a lay person – through each step of its use, providing the intervention needed to restart a person’s heart. 

“Helping to support the members of our communities through projects like this one is what our Community Health Improvement program is designed for,” said Jordi Disler, president, Parkview LaGrange Hospital. “The CHI program enables us to provide grant support to several of our local nonprofit agencies whose services, like the hospital’s, are related to helping improve the health of our community.”

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