April 20, 2016: Why is Community Health Improvement Planning Important?

Taylor RadtkeNews

This column appears in the Nevada Appeal Wednesday health pages. It addresses topics related to the health of our community.

Beginning in the fall of 2010, Carson City Health & Human Services and other community partners, such as Partnership Carson City, Carson Tahoe Health and the Nevada Public Health Foundation, came together to initiate community health improvement planning efforts in our city. From these efforts, the Carson City Community Health Assessment (CHA) and Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) were produced and finalized in the spring of 2012.

It was around that time that Carson City Health & Human Services began to pursue public health accreditation from the nationally recognized Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB). PHAB requires that state and local health departments begin to develop these documents before submitting a letter of intent to pursue accreditation. While it would have been easy to simply produce documents in order to check the required box for accreditation, CCHHS staff and partners sought value in making these documents meaningful for our community. The Community Health Assessment and Community Health Improvement Plan truly serve a purpose to benefit the health of our residents.

The Community Health Assessment (CHA) is actually a series of assessments looking at public health data, community input and partner feedback on the health status of Carson City. It is in the CHA that public health officials can identify health disparities and gaps in public health programming. The Community Health Improvement Plan typically follows the Community Health Assessment and is developed to implement strategies to improve any gaps identified in the CHA. The CHIP also includes a work plan with activities assigned to members of the community. The work plan is monitored by CCHHS and presented regularly to the Carson City Board of Health.

Beginning last month, partners from community health organizations have geared up to produce the second edition of the Community Health Assessment. Per PHAB requirements, communities must produce a new Community Health Assessment and Improvement Plan at minimum every five years. You can contribute to the next Community Health Assessment, by participating in the Public Health Town Hall meeting on Thursday, April 28, 2016 at Carson Tahoe Regional Medical Center, Bristlecone Room from 5:30 to 7:30. Also, Carson Tahoe Health has produced a phone survey. If you get a phone call from a surveyor, please take the opportunity to share your feedback, as it will help us to identify health needs and plan for future programs and activities that improve the community’s health.
Find out more about the town hall and community health improvement planning by visiting GetHealthyCarsonCity.org or check out Facebook.com/CCHHS.