Community Health Improvement Plan

Welcome to County Connection where we
talk about events programs and services offered by Summit County government.I’m
your host jJulie Sutor, we have a great show lined up for you. For this December
episode we’re going to be talking about health priorities for our community,
community food night at the Community and Senior Center, and some great
volunteer opportunities to think about this holiday season, thanks for joining
us. For the first segment of this December
episode we’re going to be talking about a community health plan and here to tell
us all about it is Amy Wineland, our Director of Public Health welcome Amy.>>Hi Julie thanks for having me.>>/Good to have you here.
So Summit County Public Health recently completed, I want to get this right.
comprehensive community health needs assessment and also finalized a
community health improvement plan so can you start by telling us what the impetus
was for this big project?>>Yeah of course, so health assess community health
assessments and improvement plans are actually customary practices of public
health okay and actually a national standard for public health agencies and
here in Colorado all local public health agencies are required to do this every
five years since the establishment of the public health act in 2008.>>Okay yeah
and so essentially this is really measuring the health of our community
and that sounds like a pretty big undertaking.>>It is a large undertaking
fortunately we live in such a collaborative community we had
contribution in the process from over 30 agencies and stakeholders, it took over
ten months to complete the entire process so it was pretty lengthy and a
huge time commitment for those involved and you know it the assessment itself
includes a robust process. It includes you know
really researching and reviewing data that already existed we also did a
public health survey a community survey and a public focus group both in English
and Spanish as well as a stakeholder survey so it really included a huge
amount of data and then that data provided an illustration of you know the
health status of our community its strengths and also opportunities for the
future. and not only did it provide information
on the health status but also gave our residents
you know input and we were able to really see insights into how our
residents view quality of life here in Summit County.
And and this is such a large and robust process that it wouldn’t have been
possible without our some of our fiscal partners so I definitely want to
recognize those that were contributing to the process financially and that
included State Health Department we get some funding from them, Summit County
government of course helps support it, we also had contributions from Building
Hope, the Family and Intercultural Resource Center, St. Anthony’s Medical
Center as well as Summit County Community Care Clinic.>>Great well it
sounds as you say just the scale of it is pretty incredible involving all those
stakeholders and so as you were mining that data and sifting through all that
information what rose to the top in terms of the priorities that we should
be addressing in terms of our health in this community.
>>Sure well it was it was a tedious process to say the least and it’s
important to keep in mind that the plan is a plan that will exist for the next
five years so it’s really a five-year plan and we investigated over 50 issues
and through the process we kind of narrowed that down to the top three
priorities and part of that process includes you know a capacity assessment
whether there are champions within the community that can take on take the lead
on some of these priorities whether there’s community will funding
opportunities available and certainly whether there’s synergy that already
exists around some of these issues and momentum that’s already taking place. So
the three priorities that were selected were mental health for families,
substance abuse focusing on opioids actually, and health equity and the
social determinants of health.>>Okay so let’s go through these three
priorities one by one if that sounds okay to you. Who I should well maybe you
can kick it off with mental health, what are the opportunities what what work is
there to be done on that priority? >>Sure so this one rose as one of the top
priorities because what the assessment found was that the majority of our
residents are affected by mental illness in some way whether they are themselves
struggling with mental illness and/or they know somebody who is a friend or
family member. We also found in the assessment that
most residents feel that not enough is being done to address mental health in
our community and you know research shows that a family member who is
diagnosed with mental illness has and can have impacts for the whole family
and these impacts some of them can be negative and they can arise not
intentionally but because of some misunderstanding about different
differences in misunderstanding around what mental health is and how to treat
it and so a family based approach that empowers the whole family is really an
ideal approach to addressing mental illness.>>So great so that’ll be a
priority of yours that you’ll work on in partnership with other organizations
throughout the community correct great yeah yeah I’m alright so let’s move on
to substance use and opioids in particular what came out of your process
in that priority?>>Yeah so well first it’s important to note that Summit County has
a higher rate than the state average for opioid related deaths, not
something to be proud of certainly and the assessment actually showed that one
in 25 household is affected by opioids we also found that most of our key
informants and practitioners reported that
problems with opioids is the most impactful for their clients
second only to major depression and then we also had 24% of our high school
students report that it’s prescription drugs are easily accessible so we have a
lot of work that we can be doing around around this issue.>>Right okay let’s move
on to the third priority which is health equity and the social determinants of
health so let’s maybe start by defining those terms.>>Sure so health equity is
becoming a very popular term in the public health circles but not everybody
really understands what it means. But what it really means is that everybody
has the opportunity to achieve their highest level of health and the social
determinants of health are economic and social conditions that impact health
status and so those conditions can include things like where people live,
where they learn, where they work, where they play and all of that can impact the
level of an individual or groups health.>>Okay great and so I want to let folks
know at home that over the next few months we’re going to do a deeper dive
into each of these priorities and talk a little bit more about those strategies
tactics and partnerships so stay tuned for that in the coming months as Amy and
her team continue to do the work on these priorities that you’ve identified
and then but to just kind of talk a little bit more about this process the
one part of it was a comprehensive assessment so what did you find out
about Summit County through that assessment process?>>So in terms of health
equity and the determinants of health we found that overall the residents view
their quality of life here very good but those that cannot make
this claim include our younger residents those with lower income and less
education level those with lower income are especially impacted.
You know we have the second highest cost of living rate in the state of Colorado
and more than 90 percent of our workforce earns $50,000 or less so this
impacts a huge portion of our population. What we also found was that there’s
there is under utilization of resources available that can have some positive
effect on income and some of these resources include childcare assistance
food security health care access and and other types of resources that we really
need to help folks understand where that where those resources are and how to
access them.>>Right it seems like kind of a tough trifecta that we have going on
with high cost of living lower wages and then people not being
aware of the resources that are available to support them so those three
things kind of work in combination to make things more challenging for some of
our population,>>Absolutely and it can lead into some mental illness issues and
also substance abuse with the high stress and anxiety that comes with that.
>>Right well it sounds like you’ve definitely picked on to picked some
important issues to tackle for your folks and our partners and it also
sounds like this plan was very much community driven would you say.>>Yeah you
know I think our process really ensured that it it we were able to develop a
community health improvement plan that was community driven and community owned
and what’s really incredible is that we have so many partners and agencies that
are taking the lead on implementing various strategies so that we can have a
real collective impact on the health of our community.>>Okay fantastic so as we
mentioned we’re gonna go deeper into these
topics and these priorities in the next few months but if people are interested
in the meantime of looking at the assessment and checking out the
community health improvement plan how can they go about doing that?
>>Yeah the full assessment and and the improvement plan are both on our website
okay so every Summit County website on the public health page.>>Perfect yeah all
right well thanks so much Amy for all the hard work that you did in
shepherding that huge process and thanks for coming into the studio today to tell
us all about it well thanks for having me Julie all right stick with us we’re
going to take a quick break and when we come back we’re going to talk about
Mountain Mentors.

Glenn Chapman

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