Community Health Assessment and Improvement Planning are fundamental functions of public health. According to the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), a community health assessment is a collaborative process that systematically collects and analyzes data to understand health within a specific community. This data is used to inform community decision making, prioritize health problems, and to develop, implement and evaluate community health improvement plans.
A community health improvement plan is a long term effort to address public health problems based on the results of a community health assessment. A community health improvement plan is critical for developing policies and defining actions to target efforts that promote health. It should define the vision for the health of the community identified through an extensive community engagement process and should address the strengths, weaknesses, challenges, and opportunities that exist in the community to improve the health status of the community.
Community Health Improvement Plan
In the spring of 2015, GCHD assessment staff held meetings around Grant County to develop the work areas for the Community Health Improvement Plan. We were pleased to see consensus around the county on the areas chosen for the plan. The areas identified were:
- Build community engagement (including engaging stakeholders and cultural literacy)
- Assure effective and common public communications (including effective messages, effective outreach, and cultural literacy)
- Promote and provide community educational activities (including prevention education, health education and health literacy)
After the areas were identified, a draft plan with goals and objectives was written. We asked the community to provide input on the plan through a survey. The next step is to form work groups on each of the 3 areas and to create measures to monitor our progress.
Community Health Assessment
In 2015, the Grant County Health District published a Community Health Assessment Report. This 73 page report is a collection of information that shows the health of the residents of Grant County. In addition to the main report, there is a summary indicators page, and city specific factsheets (available for Moses Lake, Ephrata, Quincy, Mattawa, and combined Grand Coulee and Electric City).