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Community Health Improvement

Community Health Improment Process

The Community Health Improvement Process (CHIP) brings together many diverse partners to improve the health of our community. They align their efforts and support each other for greater collective impact on the priorities identified through our Community Health Assessment.

CHIP collaborators work together to identify priority issues, develop and implement strategies for action, and establish accountability to ensure measurable health improvement, which is outlined in the form of a Community Health Improvement Plan. CHIP looks outside of the performance of an individual organization serving a specific segment of a community to the way in which the activities of many organizations contribute to community health improvement.

Buncombe County got a health ‘check-up’ in 2015 and the results are in! The report about the findings and what we need to focus on improving is found in Buncombe County’s most recent Community Health Assessment Report.

Community Health Assessment Priorities for 2015 - 2018:

  • Obesity: Food insecurity, active transportation & recreation, and diabetes
  • Intimate Partner Violence
  • Substance Abuse: Pregnancy and Newborns
  • Infant Deaths

Buncombe County’s 2015 Community Health Assessment Report

The 2015 Community Health Assessment Report for Buncombe County includes health data that helps us understand which health issues are getting better or worse. We include survey results of a cross-section of adults living in Buncombe County, as well as opinions of leaders and those surveyed about what is affecting health and possible solutions.

Community Health Improvement Process for Selecting Health Priorities

Health and data experts from BC Health and Human Services, MAHEC, Mission and UNC-A Center for Health and Wellness analyzed all of the data and with the help of a diverse team of advisors from the Community Health Improvement Process Advisory Board, identified the health priorities that we can improve -- if we work together.

Just like seeing your doctor, getting the test results back is only part of your “check-up”. The next, important step is deciding what you want to improve AND what actions it will take to make your health better. And that’s what our community is doing.

An Advisory Team of over 30 community leaders reviewed the areas of concern and made tough decisions to select health priorities based on the most concerning health problems that we think we can work together to improve. The health priorities were selected by reviewing the needs assessment results with the following criteria:

  • Relevance – Examined the severity, urgency, connection to other health issues and whether the disease affects people equally
  • Impact - Looked at availability of solutions and proven strategies that improve conditions, opportunities to build on current momentum to make health improvements and significance of consequences if we didn’t focus on the issue right now
  • Feasible – Identified whether there were resources and community will to successfully work together to make improvements

Buncombe County’s Health Priorities for 2015 - 2018

  • Obesity & Chronic Disease Prevention - With 50% of adults and 33% of children either overweight or obese, it is essential to continue to make the healthy choice the easy choice. Diabetes mortality rates have worsened for the past 8 years. There is a huge health disparity seen in diabetes deaths in NC. There is a great deal of momentum around active transportation, access to affordable healthy foods, and new partnerships with clinical partners to build links between clinical care and community supports. In addition, there is a great deal of work happening to improve diabetes care and linkages with community partners.
  • Intimate Partner Violence Prevention – Five homicides in 2013 were a result of intimate partner violence (IPV), and we have seen a drastic increase in IPV calls to the domestic violence hotline. With a new Comprehensive Domestic Violence Plan and the anticipated opening of the Family Justice Center, Buncombe County has many collaborative efforts underway to address this challenging issue.
  • Substance Abuse Prevention – Hospitals continue to see spikes in heroin-related visits and overdoses, neonatal abstinence syndrome continues to grow and over half the homeless population has a substance use disorder or mental health illness. The new Comprehensive Care Center will provide improved access to services for those experiencing mental health and substance abuse concerns.
  • Infant Mortality Prevention – Buncombe County has seen an increase in number of infants who died in their first year of life. And almost twice as many African American babies die than white babies, making this a notable health disparity. This is a key community health indicator to help monitor improvements in women’s health, health equity, and poverty. Many important community initiatives are moving forward such as the Success Equation (poverty reduction); Community Centered Health Home (women’s health); Women and Children’s Safety Coalition (domestic & sexual abuse reduction); and Minority Health Project to Improve Chronic Disease Management (health equity).

Buncombe County CHIP Advisory selected the following quality of life conditions that will improve as a result of collective action that impacts our health priorities.

The RESULTS we are working together to achieve are:
All ages have the opportunity to eat healthy, be active and better manage disease
All children have safe, stable & nurturing relationships & environments to ensure they reach their full potential