Written by Andrew Whitacre, NACo Health Associate.
This past week, NACo released a podcast as part of
its Elected County Officials’ Guide to the County
Health Rankings & Roadmaps project. The podcast features conversations
with the Director and Deputy Director of the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program at the University of
Wisconsin Population Health Institute (UWPHI), Bridget Catlin and Julie Willems
Van Dijk. The podcast also features leaders from two counties that are
utilizing the County Health Rankings
& Roadmaps to undertake innovative strategies and build partnerships
across sectors in their communities to improve health. Mayor Ben McAdams and
Human Services Director Lori Bays from Salt Lake County, Utah and Health
Department Director Allison Alejos from Shawnee County, Kansas discussed how
they utilize the County Health Rankings
& Roadmaps in their efforts to improve community health.
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Bridget and Julie discussed what the County Health Rankings measure and why
those measures provide a helpful snapshot of health in counties across the country.
During the conversation Bridget and Julie also provided a number of important
tools and resources that are available for counties through the Roadmaps section of the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps
Action Cycle- provides
counties with an interactive step-by-step guide of Action Steps that describe
the key activities for each step with suggested tools, resources, and
additional reading to improve community health.
What Works for Health- a tool that
makes available to counties a database of evidence-informed policies, programs,
and system changes to improve health in each of the measures indicated in the County Health Rankings. Each program or
policy features a description of the expected beneficial outcomes, evidence of
effectiveness, the impact on disparities, and implementation examples to help
counties fit programs and policies to their needs.
Measuring Progress- guidance to
assist counties in understanding how the County
Health Rankings are a way to inform progress measurement and to utilize the
Rankings as a starting point to collect additional local data to improve
Community Coaches- offer
personalized assistance to counties by providing information about the tools
available through the Roadmaps Action
Center and/or engaging in a telephone consultation. To contact a Community
Coach, go to the bottom of any page at www.countyhealthrankings.org and click the
‘Contact the County Health Rankings &
Roadmaps Team’ icon or visit www.countyhealthrankings.org/contact.
May 29th, Salt Lake County, Utah will hold one of the six NACo
Community Dialogues to Improve County Health. They are calling their Community
Dialogue “Building Healthy Communities” and are using the day to lay the ground
work on how the county is going to approach improving health outcomes by
involving a variety of different sectors of the community, including schools,
law enforcement, faith-based organizations, government organizations, the
business community, and other community groups. Participants will share data,
prioritize areas of focus, and develop a plan on how to work collectively after
the Community Dialogue with a common agenda and a role for each of the sectors
of the community represented.
County, Kansas is one of five large urban counties in Kansas. The county ranks
5th out 96 counties in the state for clinical care in the County Health Rankings, but ranks 86th
in social and economic factors due to issues with low high school graduation
rates, poverty, and children in single parent households impacting the
community. In order to address these issues and others, Shawnee County is
engaged in a cross-sector collaborative initiative called Heartland Healthy
Neighborhoods. This initiative includes partners from dozens of community
organizations, including schools, hospitals, urban planners, city and county
government, the United Way, and others. For more information on this
initiative, visit Heartland Healthy Neighborhood.
explore your county’s health ranking, visit the 2014 County Health Rankings.
NACo’s 79th Annual Conference and Exposition in New Orleans Parish,
Louisiana, County Solutions and Innovation (CSI) will hold an interactive
workshop Sunday, July 13th from 2:30-4pm that explores what counties
can and are doing to look beyond clinical services and access to care to
improve the health of their communities. The workshop will provide participants
with an opportunity to share best practices and network with other counties on
this important topic. Click here to register.
learn more about the Community Dialogues to Improve County Health, NACo’s
Elected County Officials’ Guide to County Health
Rankings & Roadmaps, or the Annual Conference workshop, please contact
Andrew Whitacre, Health Associate, firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.942.4215.