Our Community Assessment
In January 2012, public health system partners were organized into the (leaders from local businesses, education, healthcare and government as well as concerned citizens) to initiate a community health assessment and health improvement planning project. The purpose of the project was to gather data about the health status of Montgomery Countians, identify and prioritize areas of concern and through community collaboration develop and implement a plan to address the identified issues. This effort was organized by the Montgomery County Health Department and Saint Joseph Mount Sterling Hospital.
The public health system partners, referred to as the MAPP Partnership, used a community health improvement planning model developed by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) in cooperation with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), called Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships (MAPP). MAPP has been used in communities across the nation and provides a framework for a community to work together to identify and solve health issues. MAPP focuses on the public health system, all those concerned about the health and safety of their community; seeks to identify and utilize resources wisely; and include input from the entire community.
To ensure that all factors impacting the health of our community are taken into consideration the core of MAPP is formed by four assessments, which include:
Community Health Status Assessment: statistical information gathered from various sources to provide an in-depth look at the health status of community residents.
Community Themes and Strengths Assessment: a survey providing insight into what is important to our community and insights about the quality of life.
Forces of Change Assessment: considers forces that may or may not affect the local public health system or the community (i.e. social, environmental, governmental, and economic changes).
Local Public Health System Assessment: assesses the activities and capacities of the local public health system.
Over the course of 2012, the MAPP Partnership completed these assessments with nearly 1,200 community members submitting surveys regarding their leading health concerns in our county. After analyzing the data collected, the MAPP Partnership met in November 2012 and reached consensus on three areas of greatest concern. These were as follows:
Issue #1: Substance Abuse
Issue #2: Teen Pregnancy
Issue #3: Obesity
Our Community Health Improvement Plan
During 2013 the MAPP Partnership divided into groups, each focused on one of the above issues. Each group developed goals, objectives and strategies for improving the health status of our community in these areas. Along with the assessment results, this work is documented in the Montgomery County Community Health Assessment and Improvement Plan 2013. (HYPERLINK)
Our Ongoing Work
The MAPP process does not end here. It is a continuous process in which the community frequently reviews (every 3-5 years) the health and safety issues of concern. Using MAPP, a community is able to create a sustained initiative that ultimately leads to improved community health.
Each workgroup meets on a regular basis. We invite you to join us as we work toward achieving our vision of a safe, healthy and prosperous community. There are several ways to be involved in community health improvement. Our community coalition and workgroups are described below.
- The Healthy Communities Coalition focuses on health issues affecting our community and is organized by the health department. Each of the following workgroups report to this Coalition. Members consist of representatives from local government, education, healthcare, business and industry, as well as concerned citizens. The Coalition meets quarterly in January, April, July and October.
- Substance Abuse workgroup, known as the Montgomery County Alcohol and Drug Abuse Prevention Team (MC ADAPT), is focused on preventing and reducing the harmful effects of alcohol, tobacco and other drugs. For more information visit their website.
- Teen Pregnancy workgroup, known as Promoting Awareness for Teen Health (P.A.T.H), focuses on educating youth and parents on strategies to prevent teen pregnancy. For more information, contact Keisha Cornett at [email protected].
- Obesity workgroup works to promote nutrition, physical activity and healthy environments in schools, the workplace and the community. For more information contact Keisha Cornett at [email protected] or Jennifer Gulley at [email protected].
The Healthy Communities Coalition will be reconvening the MAPP Partnership in the Fall of 2015 to complete the next Community Health Assessment and Improvement Plan. Look for community announcements in the Advocate and on WMST.
To get involved or for questions or comments, please contact Jennifer Gulley at [email protected] or at 859-498-3808.