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Northern Kentucky Health and Social Needs Assessment

One of the main thrusts of Northern Kentucky's Vision 2015 strategic planning initiative is to build livable communities. The Health Department partnered with Vision 2015 to implement the livable community strategy of “conduct ongoing health and social assessments and implement a comprehensive regional approach to meet and fund those needs.”Vision for a Healthy and Vibrant Community report cover

The Vision for a Healthy and Vibrant Community report is available online.

Implementation of the plan is underway, focusing on key strategic focus areas identified during the assessment process: access to care and healthy lifestyles for adults and children.

The 18-month planning process utilized the National Association of City and County Health Officials' MAPP (Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnership) framework. The MAPP process consisted of a strategic planning process that utilized four assessments:

  1. Local Public Health System Assessment: The first step in this continuing community health assessment was conducted in March 2008. More than 50 leaders from local hospitals, schools, fire departments, police departments, nursing homes, the business community, county government and other social service agencies gathered to assess Northern Kentucky’s public health system. The framework for the assessment was based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Public Health Performance Standards program, which is a tool that allows communities to identify, analyze and prioritize local public health needs.

  2. Community Health Status Assessment: A way to analyze current health data and identify needs for improvement, the assessment was expanded to include looking at individual county issues. Reports from each of the four county assessments are below:
  3. Themes and Strengths Assessment: This assessment included community input to identify Northern Kentucky's strengths and assets as well as which areas need improvement. This assessment work group developed a quality of life survey to look at how residents and others in Northern Kentucky view their communities. The work group used the results of this assessment to determine the strengths that make Northern Kentucky a great place to live and raise children and to identify areas of improvement to make Northern Kentucky even better.

  4. Forces of Change Assessment: Long-term trends and health factors were examined to determine trends that may be affecting the ability of Northern Kentucky to become a healthier community. This work group met in February 2009 to look at local and global changes that may provide opportunities for local improvements or threats to the prospect of implementing a plan to improve the health and social conditions in Northern Kentucky.

The results of these four assessments were used to guide and inform a strategic planning retreat in June 2009 and incorporated into the final plan for the assessment.

Report profiles children's health in region
The Child Health Policy Research Center at Cincinnati Children's Hospital and Vision 2015 released a report, "Child Health in Northern Kentucky." The report, which came out of the health and social needs assessment, highlights needed improvements in six key areas: maternal health and healthy development, healthy lifestyles, mental health, access to care, oral health and other threats. The report compares findings at county and ZIP code levels. 

More information
If you are interested in participating in the implementation of the health and social needs assessment or for more information on it or on the MAPP process, please contact Alan Kalos at 859.341.4264.

This project was funded in part by a grant for the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky. The foundation was created in 2001 to address the unmet health care needs of Kentucky.