MAYVILLE – In conjunction with the New York State Department of Health’s (NYSDOH) Prevention Agenda, the Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services (CCDHHS) and the county’s three hospitals have collaborated to complete the Chautauqua County Community Health Assessment, Community Service Plans, and the Chautauqua County Community Health Improvement Plan for 2019-2021.
The Community Health Assessment (CHA) and Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) were submitted to the NYSDOH in December 2019 and they are now available to the public through the CCDHHS website: https://chqgov.com/public-health/public-health.
The State Prevention Agenda is the blueprint for state and local action to improve the health and well-being of all New Yorkers and promote health equity across populations who experience disparities. It envisions New York becoming the Healthiest State in the Nation for people of all ages, and designates five priority areas:
- Prevent chronic diseases;
- Promote a healthy and safe environment;
- Promote healthy women, infants, and children;
- Promote well-being and prevent mental and substance use disorders; and
- Prevent communicable diseases.
Just as New York State assesses the health of residents, so do counties. The Community Health Assessment is a core function of public health agencies and a fundamental tool of public health practice.
The Chautauqua County Community Health Planning Team (CCCHPT) consists of representatives from CCDHHS, the three local hospital systems (Allegheny Health Network Westfield Memorial Hospital, Brooks-TLC Hospital System, Inc., and UPMC Chautauqua), Chautauqua County Department of Mental Hygiene, Chautauqua County Health Network, The Chautauqua Center, The Resource Center, Prevention Works, Chautauqua County Office for the Aging, and Population Health Collaborative of Western New York.
The team met on several occasions to gauge the community’s perceived health priorities, assets, and needs through a web-based and paper survey, and numerous community conversations. It then examined secondary health data provided by the NYSDOH and other key sources to determine the three County priorities to address:
- Prevent Chronic Diseases;
- Promote Healthy Women, Infants, and Children; and
- Promote Mental Well-Being and Prevent Mental and Substance Use Disorders.
The CCCHPT worked together with community partners from all sectors to determine what programming interventions, related to the selected priority areas, were already being implemented in Chautauqua County. Rather than adopting new programs and activities, the local health department and community hospitals desired to embrace the concept of “Public Health 3.0” by working to strengthen the efforts currently underway and better connect community partners. Interventions focus on a variety of disparity populations, including low-income, seniors, youth, Amish, and those with a substance use disorder or mental health diagnosis.
“This extensive review of health and social conditions in Chautauqua County helped to strengthen relationships between partners and paints a beautiful picture of a ‘Health Across All Policies’ approach in Chautauqua County,” said Director of Health and Human Services Christine Schuyler. “As with the rest of New York State, obesity, poor eating habits, lack of exercise, and nicotine use continue to burden a large proportion of Chautauqua County residents. The problems of mental health and substance use disorders are present across the County and are a focus area for CCDHHS and many community partners.”
Jodi Witherell, CNO/Vice President of Quality Services at Brooks – TLC Hospital System, Inc. said, “Brooks-TLC Hospital System, Inc. is proud of its robust Community Health Program designed to support the CHA/CHIP, and has listed the document on our website under Community Health. Clinical staff and others in our hospital system are in an optimal position to drive the health and wellness agenda as we interface with patients daily.”
The Community Health Assessment and Community Health Improvement Plan 2019-2021 provides a demographic profile of Chautauqua County, a health profile organized by Prevention Agenda priority areas, identification of the main health challenges including the broad determinants of health, community assets and resources, and documentation of process and methods used for this assessment.
“The Community Health Assessment highlights the need for people and organizations from all sectors of the county—public, private, educational, non-profit, media or philanthropic—to work deliberately and collaboratively to improve the public’s health through policies, programs, and services,” said Schuyler.
More information about the New York State Prevention Agenda can be found at www.health.ny.gov. The Community Health Assessment.