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September 16
Residents Encouraged to Help Develop Action Plan for Improving Wake County's Health, Well-being

Wake County residents have the opportunity to help develop a plan for improving the health of their local communities over the next three years.

On Tuesday, Sept. 27, residents are invited to share their ideas for addressing the top four issues the community identified as key to Wake County's health and well-being through the 2016 Community Health Needs Assessment: health insurance coverage, transportation, access to health services, and mental health and substance abuse.

"The action plan we develop together will guide the organizations involved in the CHNA process through the steps they must take to improve the overall health of Wake County and ultimately generate positive change in our community," said Board of Commissioners Chairman James West, who serves as co-chair of the steering committee leading this effort.

The planning meeting will take place from 4:30-8 p.m. at Marbles Kids Museum, located at 201 E. Hargett St. in Raleigh. The event is free and open to the public. A light meal will be served at 4:30 p.m. Residents planning to attend are encouraged to register at wakegov.com/wellbeing.

"We need every resident to take an active role in the process to help decide what we will do as a community to address these issues," said Donald Gintzig, president and CEO of WakeMed Health & Hospitals and co-chair of the CHNA steering committee. "We can make Wake County a better place to live, work and play with the valuable input of our residents."

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 federal law to complete this process every three years.

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

Phase two (analysis) involved analyzing the results collected in Phase One and 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. 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 in July 2016. The report 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 well-being in Wake County: health insurance coverage, transportation, access to health services, and mental health and substance abuse.

Phase five (action planning) is underway, and the CHNA steering committee will turn to the community to use the priorities and information in the report to create an action plan. Wake County citizens will be asked to participate in this process in the fall of 2016.

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 made up of more than 60 community partners, including local government, hospitals, schools, faith-based organizations, nonprofit organizations, businesses and other stakeholders.

For more information, visit wakegov.com/wellbeing. Follow updates on social media with the hashtag #WakeWellbeing.





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