MAYVILLE, N.Y.:--In conjunction with the New York State Department of Health’s (NYSDOH) Prevention Agenda, the Chautauqua County Department of Health and Human Services (CCDHHS), Allegheny Health Network Westfield Memorial Hospital, Brooks-TLC Hospital System, Inc., and UPMC Chautauqua 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 Prevention Agenda 2019-2024 is New York State's health improvement plan, 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. The Prevention Agenda was developed and updated by the New York State Public Health and Health Planning Council, in partnership with 100 diverse organizations across New York State. This is the third cycle for this statewide initiative (started in 2008), designed to demonstrate how communities can work together to improve overall health and quality of life. New to this 2019-2024 cycle is the incorporation of a “Health Across All Policies” approach, which calls on all State agencies to identify and strengthen the ways in which their policies and programs can have a positive impact on health.
The Prevention Agenda 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), with guidance from New York State, worked to gauge the community’s perceived health priorities, assets, and needs through a web-based and paper survey, and numerous community conversations. CCCHPT consists of representatives from the CCDHHS, the three hospital systems, 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 thoroughly examined secondary health data provided by the NYSDOH and other key sources, and selected 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. One of Chautauqua County’s greatest strengths is its collaborative spirit. 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 and Community Health Improvement Plan for 2019-2021 are available on the CCDHHS website: https://chqgov.com/public-health/public-health.