Every five years, the Northern Kentucky Health Department engages the community in an assessment to understand the current health status of Northern Kentucky and identify ways to improve health for everyone. The current assessment was guided by community partners from the Health Department, Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce, Northern Kentucky University, St. Elizabeth Healthcare, Skyward and the United Way of Greater Cincinnati.
The group, the Northern Kentucky Health Steering Committee, conducted a Community Health Assessment to identify priority health issues and outcomes. This assessment was the foundation for the Community Health Improvement Plan for Northern Kentucky, published recently.
Numerous individuals and 175 organizations participated in the various assessments. After months of engagement and work, three priority health outcomes were identified: obesity, heart disease and substance use disorders.
“To make real progress in improving the health of Northern Kentucky, we need to coordinate efforts,” said Lynne M. Saddler, MD, MPH, District Director of Health for the Northern Kentucky Health Department. “The Community Health Improvement Plan attempts to create synergy among health initiatives and achieve strategic alignment in health assessment and planning—all working towards a vision of thriving people living healthy lifestyles in a vibrant community.”
The Community Health Improvement Plan further outlines goals, objectives and strategies for each of the priority health issues to describe how community partners will collectively and collaboratively work together to improve the health of Northern Kentucky.
The three priority health issues addressed in the plan are:
- Healthy behaviors
- Health care capacity, access and delivery
- Changes in policies, systems and the environment
The plan also ties in with the United Way’s Bold Goals for health, education and income, specifically looking at the following:
- By 2020, 95% of the community will report having a usual place to go for medical care.
- By 2020, 70% of the community will report having excellent or very good health.
Further, the Community Health Improvement Plan will support Skyward’s myNKY health goal of moving an additional 20,000 adults (or an additional 9%) into excellent or very good health status.
“The publication of the Community Health Improvement Plan is a beginning, rather than an end,” said Bill Scheyer, President of Skyward. “The Northern Kentucky Health Steering Committee will continue to engage community partners to develop an action plan, and work towards implementation of the steps and strategies identified.”
The report can be found online, click here.