SNOHOMISH COUNTY, Wash. – Prenatal care? Violent crime? Illegal dumping? For the past year, the Snohomish Health District and its Public Health Advisory Council (PHAC) have delved into the world of health statistics to discover what the most pressing health issues are for Snohomish County residents. The Health District compiled the findings in a “report card” presented to community leaders April 30.
Snohomish County data for 80 different health indicators was compared to Washington state and U.S. data; trends in the measure over time, whether improving or worsening; and national goals such as Healthy People 2020, or goals set by a professional association. The report card highlights areas the community does well in and areas that need work.
The Health District expects the report will lead to community engagement in developing community health improvement plans that tackle the top priorities.
The top-scoring six health issues that emerged from the Community Health Assessment were
youth physical abuse
- youth and adult obesity
- dental decay in children
- access to a primary care physician,
- first trimester prenatal care
These priorities are based on the number of people impacted, the seriousness of the issue in terms of health effects, and whether there are proven community-based interventions. The PHAC also considered community values and the presence of local organizations which might assist in tackling the topic.
The Snohomish County Health Leadership Coalition, led by Premera, has already identified youth obesity as a priority after meeting to identify ways of reducing health care costs. The group has targeted increasing activity levels in 10,000 5th graders in the county.
The PHAC will work with Snohomish Health District staff to engage the wider community in actively developing Community Health Improvement Plans (CHIP) for the top three priorities (marked in bold) in 2013-2014. If you or your organization would like to get involved in a Community Health Improvement Plan or learn more, please call 425.339.8618 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The report card is posted on the Snohomish Health District’s website and available by request.
The Public Health Advisory Council is appointed by the Board of Health to consider public health issues and recommend policies and actions to improve the health of Snohomish County. Members are community leaders who volunteer their time for three-year terms, except the youth representative who serves for one year. The council was created in 2009 and expanded in 2012.
Established in 1959, the Snohomish Health District works for a safer and healthier Snohomish County through disease prevention, health promotion, and protection from environmental threats. Find more information about the Health Board and the Health District at http://www.snohd.org.