LVHN provides a wide variety of services to the community including heart care, burn treatment, cancer center, pulmonology, emergency care, specialty pediatrics, trauma surgery, neurology and neurosurgery, women’s health and many more specialties. Several community health centers are available throughout the region in addition to 20 Express Care centers that offer walk-in, no appointment care and often have radiology services on site. Primary Needs of the PopulationThe population of Northampton County is 300,520 and is comprised of: White- 86.37%, Hispanic- 12.8%, Black-5.09%, and Asian-2.71%.
In LVHN emergency departments, alcohol and narcotics were the most commonly used substances when patients arrived in crisis (over 80%). 18% of adults in Northampton County drink excessively, 20% of adults are current smokers, 10% lack a consistent source of primary care, and 18% have depression. One of the major community health needs identified within the county is mental health needs. In Northampton county alone, there are 7,954 people suffering from depression, accounting for 18.6% of the Northampton County population. Participants identified that there are fewer providers for mental health care and that they have difficulty finding places to refer people for mental health services. Participants also mentioned that services are not provided in locations accessible to community members and have difficulty obtaining appointments. Lately, more and more state hospitals have been closing, leaving the mental health patients without housing or the proper care needed. At our organization, we have a 7 -bed emergency behavioral health unit and two inpatientbehavioral health units for both adult and adolescent. Often, the mental health patients are left waiting in the ER for days for bed placement. We often fill up quickly here in our inpatient units and cannot accept additional patients. Subsequently, this affects the community at large because they may be hesitant coming in for an emergency behavioral health evaluation due to the burden of having to wait a great amount of time for bed placement. This wait delays the overall care and healing of the mental health patient.An additional need of the community is that a large percentage of Northampton County isconsidered to be overweight with a body mass index (BMI) of 25.0-30.0. These numbers reflect
adults who are 18 years of age or older and considered to make up 37.1% of Northampton County.Nurse Leader’s RoleA nurse leader is one who directs, facilitates, negotiates, and supervises individuals or groups to meet common goals. A leader is one who assumes responsibility for helping to direct the profession and impact policy. The roles between a mastered prepared nurse and a nurse leader are quite similar. I chose Neil Kocher, BSN, director of the Regional Heart Center and Intensive Care Unit at Lehigh Valley Hospital and Health Network. Neil is currently pursuing his MBA degree and is five classes away from completion.
- Fall '18