Area health agencies start work on review, planMore than 40 people from 25 health agencies in Stutsman County began working on a community health assessment and community health improvement plan Thursday.
By: Kari Lucin, The Jamestown Sun
More than 40 people from 25 health agencies in Stutsman County began working on a community health assessment and community health improvement plan Thursday.
“We’re hoping that this process will unite our community so that we work together to solve health problems and to make this the best place to live, work and play,” said Robin Iszler, unit administrator with Central Valley Health District, which is coordinating the development process known as CHA/CHIP.
The process is community health’s equivalent of strategic planning, and involves assessing the state of health, setting health goals and determining how to reach them.
“This is part of our function as a local health department,” said Tami Dillman, CVHD finance manager. “Because we know that there are limitations for resources — money and people — and we need to best use the resources we have.”
At Thursday’s meeting, leaders explained the CHA/CHIP process, gave participants a tentative timeline and began reviewing the data already available for Stutsman County.
Most of the information discussed fell into four categories — health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors and physical environment. The four categories and the 13 specific topics were part of a model closely aligned with data from the North Dakota Health Department.
Health behaviors included tobacco use, diet and exercise, alcohol use and unsafe sex.
“A lot of this stuff, you have some control over,” Iszler said.
Clinical care included access to care and quality of care.
Social and economic factors included education, employment, income, family and social support and community safety.
Physical environment included both environmental quality and built environment. Data included numbers on lead and asbestos and the safety of the water supply, as well as the state of the city sidewalks.
At the meeting, participants were asked to rate each topic, after seeing the relevant data, deciding whether they believed the numbers indicated the county was doing well, needed improvement in that area or whether the numbers were alarming.
“We also asked them to pick what are their top priorities,” Iszler said.
Numbers from Thursday’s meeting will be compiled, along with numbers from a community phone survey that will begin in mid-March. About 300 to 400 people will be asked 20 to 40 health-related questions, and then the information will be collated in time for another CHA/CHIP meeting in May.
For more information about the process, or to be on the CHA/CHIP mailing list, contact CentralValley@CentralValleyHealth.org.
Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be reached at 701-952-8453
or by email at