By Jeff Gilliland of the Times Gazette, with a mention of some work an OCDCA member, Highland County Community Action Organization, is doing:
A year after completing a community health assessment the Highland County Health Department is exploring ways to address issues the assessment exposed. The next step is creating a Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) that seeks to improve the health and wellness of the individuals and families who live and work in Highland County.
A meeting for anyone interested will be held at 9 a.m. Thursday, Feb. 16 at the Highland County Health Department, 1487 N. High St., Suite 400, Hillsboro.
“The health department has worked hard to identify the greatest health issues facing Highland County. The CHIP process allows us to develop a community plan for addressing these problems. The more community input we have, the stronger these efforts to improve our health will be,” said Jared Warner, Highland County health commissioner.
Warner said that all health departments in Ohio are now required to be accredited, somewhat like a hospital or college. He said the first step of that process was creating the community health assessment, and now the CHIP is the next step.
At the community meeting, Warner said those in attendance will look over the health assessment report and try to identify the county’s biggest problems.
“We’ll try to determine which problems we can have an impact on and which ones we want to focus our efforts on,” Warner said.
The assessment completed last year was developed by a countywide coalition, led by Highland County Community Action and Ohio State University. A survey was completed by 433 county residents that provided information on economic data, lifestyle choices, health and wellness and mental health.