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July 18
Priorities Set for Improving Wake County's Health, Well-being

After months of data collection, analysis and public input, Wake County and its community partners have identified the top four issues they will focus on to improve the health and wellbeing of county residents over the next three years. The Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA), which was released today, targets the following issues as the top priorities to address in efforts to make Wake County an even better place to live, work and play:

  • Health insurance coverage,
  • Transportation,
  • Access to health services, and
  • Mental health and substance abuse.

Next, Wake County residents will again be asked to provide input to develop the action plans that will guide progress in each of these areas.

The CHNA is a multi-phase process used to identify the issues affecting the health and wellbeing 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 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 lifelong learning, as important issues facing Wake County.

Phase three (public feedback) culminated in a series of public meetings. 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) was completed with the publication of the CHNA report. This document shares the findings and results of the assessment effort with the entire community and other interested stakeholders. It serves as a roadmap to develop an action plan to address the top four issues impacting health and wellbeing in Wake County.

Phase five (action planning) is underway, as the CHNA steering committee again turns to the community to take the issues prioritized in the report and use that information to create an action plan. The plan will guide 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 be asked to participate in this process in the fall.

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 or to view the report, please visit wakegov.com/wellbeing. When sharing information about the CHNA on social media, the partners will use this hashtag: #WakeWellbeing.





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