community health improvement plan

Live Well Boone County

In early 2013, the Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services embarked on a comprehensive process to identify the health needs of the Boone County, Missouri community. The process included both an extensive review of community data, as well as a gathering of input from a variety of stakeholders, community members, and public health partners through the six-phase Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships (MAPP) model, created by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Public Health Program Practice Office.

The quantitative and qualitative data led to the development of the department’s Community Health Assessment (CHA) and the subsequent Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) Live Well Boone County, taking information from the CHA and turning it into actionable steps to improve the health of Boone County. Since the plan’s inception in 2014, the issues impacting the health of Boone County have evolved to include an increase in opioid use, racial tensions, and continued health disparities. Annually the CHIP has been updated to reflect progress made on each of the five identified strategic priority areas:

  1. Safe and Healthy Neighborhoods: How do we prevent crime and promote safe and healthy neighborhoods where people live, work, and play?
  2. Healthy Lifestyles: How do we create a community and environment which provides access, opportunities, and encouragement for a healthy lifestyle?
  3. Access to Health Care: How can we increase access to and utilization of comprehensive health services?
  4. Health Disparities: How do we address the root causes of health disparities to ensure health equity?
  5. Behavioral Health: How do we reduce the risky behaviors and the stigma associated with behavioral health?

As a result of the efforts made in the five strategic priority areas, residents of Boone County have been presented with a number of opportunities and programs to improve their overall health and wellbeing. Through the gathering of community input and robust data, the team learned health disparities were of  concern in the community.  As a result, Live Well by Faith, a wellness program for black churches in Boone County, was implemented. This program has found notable success, with participants losing weight and lower their blood pressures.

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Another issue raised frequently among community members was the notion of increasing access to health care and establishing relationships with primary care providers. This knowledge of a community need led to the inclusion of an access to care social worker as part of the Live Well Boone County plan. However, the team struggled to turn the tide on this issue and the program ended.

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Looking ahead to the next iteration of the community health assessment and updating the Live Well Boone County plan, team members look toward their common vision for guidance, “As our community is ever-changing, so must our assessment.” Columbia/Boone County Department of Public Health and Human Services senior planner, Rebecca Roesslet, explained. “In 2018, we will once again ask our residents how we can reach a vision of a caring and inclusive community where everyone can achieve their optimum well being. The information we gather during these next 12 months will shape our work moving forward.”

Partnership Spotlight: Ozarks Health Commission

In an effort to better understand and improve the health status of populations in the Ozarks, organizations in the region formed the Ozark Health Commission. Participants in the commission included Burrell Behavioral Health, CoxHealth, Freeman Health System, Mercy and several local health departments. It’s the largest collaboration in the region, spanning four states—Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Kansas—51 counties and four hospital systems. 

After completing the Regional Health Assessment and identifying health priority areas, Springfield-Greene County Health Department turned to Community Commons to build a reporting tool that would keep the community informed of the progress they’re making. Julie Viele, who coordinated the implementation of Community Commons for the Springfield-Greene County Health Department discusses the project below. 

Hi Julie, thanks for talking with us. Could you talk a little about the Springfield-Greene County Health Department and the department’s work with Community Commons?  

In Greene County, we serve a population of 288,000 people. We provide a wide variety of services, from food inspections to smoking cessation classes; nutrition programs to health education within our vision helping people live longer, healthier, happier lives.   We became very familiar with Community Commons as we collected our secondary data for the regional health assessment. We found it to be a very useful tool that was community-friendly that made it easy to pull data.  

Could you talk about the Regional Health Assessment process and how that is guiding your strategy moving forward? 

The regional health assessment included 51 counties, four states and four hospital systems. From the assessment, we were able to identify three priority areas, which were pretty universal throughout the 51 counties. They include lung disease, cardiovascular disease and mental health. From those three priority areas we identified five common threads:

  • Access to appropriate care
  • Social determinants of health
  • Tobacco use
  • Mental health 
  • Physical activity and nutrition

Based off these five common threads, we developed our local community health improvement plan (CHIP), which we are currently working on the objectives that were identified in the plan.  

What kind of data was used for the Regional Health Assessment and CHIP? 

For the regional health assessment, we used over 150 indicators, which helped us determine our priorities and common threads. The majority from Community Commons.  From the list of 150 indicators, we identified specific indicators for the five common threads, which are highlighted in the Springfield CHIP.

Do you intend for it to be used by community members, so they can see for themselves? 

We incorporated maps and comparison dials into the different pages that address the common threads so community members can play with the data and make sense of it.

How does having a hublet fit into your overall strategy of community health improvement? 

We are using the Ozarks Health Commission hub and the CHIP hublet as a reporting tool to our community, so the community knows what we’re working on and how we are progressing on the objectives within the health improvement plan. We want to keep the community informed and make them feel like they have a part in our community’s health. We are a very data-driven department, so our hope is to provide the data to help community partners make healthier decisions, which will help led to a healthier community.