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March 08
Residents Help Set Priorities for Improving Wake County's Health, Well-being

More than 230 people volunteered their time on the evening of Tuesday, March 8, to identify the top three issues they think Wake County should focus on to improve the health and wellbeing of its citizens over the next three years. The residents reviewed the results of public outreach efforts conducted last year through the Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) and prioritized the findings to reflect what they consider to be the greatest needs in their communities.

"We appreciate the candid conversations the residents engaged in tonight and the valuable outcomes they generated," said Wake County Board of Commissioners Chairman James West, who also serves as co-chair of the steering committee leading this effort. "We will use the priorities they identified to develop an action plan, which will guide how we address the needs of our citizens and make Wake County an even better place for them to live, work and play."

The CHNA is a multi-phase process used to identify the issues affecting the health and well-being of Wake County, determine the resources needed to address these issues and develop a plan of action. The county, as well as area hospitals, are required by the Affordable Care Act to complete this process every three years.

Phase one (survey) occurred from October to December of 2015. During that time, researchers gathered input from the public in several ways, including telephone surveys, an online survey, focus groups and in-person interviews. In all, nearly 1,400 people participated in the effort.

Phase two (analysis) involved analyzing the results collected in Phase One as well as examining statistical data. Research identified physical, behavioral, mental, economic and environmental health, as well as safety and life-long learning, as important issues facing Wake County.

Phase three (public feedback) culminated in the March 8 meetings, held simultaneously in five different locations across the county. During these meetings, facilitators shared the results of the public outreach efforts in phase one with residents. Then, the participants moved into breakout groups and narrowed the results down to the most important issues they felt should be addressed over the next three years.

Phase four (roadmap) is now underway, as the CHNA steering committee again turns to the community to take the issues prioritized March 8 and uses that information to create an action plan. It will serve as a roadmap, guiding the organizations involved in the CHNA process through the steps they must take to make improvements and ultimately generate positive change in our community. Wake County citizens will again be asked to participate in this process in August.

"The people of Wake County are at the heart of this important effort," said Donald Gintzig, president and CEO of WakeMed Health & Hospitals and co-chair of the CHNA steering committee. "They provided vital input during the research phase, and tonight, they showed their commitment once again as they helped us take the next step forward in this process. Their insights will build upon the foundation for a call to action that will benefit the health and well-being of our entire community."

The CHNA is a collaborative effort among Wake County Human Services; WakeMed Health & Hospitals, Duke Raleigh Hospital and UNC Rex Healthcare;  Advance Community Health (formerly known as Wake Health Services); United Way of the Greater Triangle and Wake County Medical Society Community Health Foundation. The CHNA process is overseen by a steering committee comprising more than 60 community partners including local government, hospitals, schools, faith-based organizations, nonprofit organizations, businesses and other stakeholders.

For more information, visit our website, wakegov.com/wellbeing. When sharing information about the CHNA on social media, the partners will use this hashtag: #WakeWellbeing.





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