Top Stories November 27, 2017

Community Health Assessment Shows Mental Health Needs

by Jackson Hole. Media

 

In the latest Community Health Needs Assessment, Healthy Teton County noted the community’s top community health issues to be mental health, alcohol, sexual and reproductive health, chronic disease and cancer screenings, and smokeless tobacco. The full 2018 Community Health Needs Assessment report will be published in the spring of 2018, along with a Community Health Implementation Plan that outlines the goals and strategies for addressing each identified issue.

This is the second iteration of the Community Health Needs Assessment, conducted through Healthy Teton County, a community health initiative led by Teton County Public Health and St. John’s Medical Center, with participation from over 25 local organizations. The partnership followed the MAPP (Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships) framework, a national best practice to help communities identify community health issues and resources to address them.

“Through this year’s MAPP process, the scope of our Community Health Needs Assessment has been significantly expanded and community participation in the process greatly enhanced,” said St. John’s CEO Paul Beaupré, MD.

Data was obtained from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Wyoming Department of Health, County Health Rankings, and Network of Care. To complement this data, a quality of life survey was conducted with community members. Over 1300 surveys were completed, including 300 in Spanish.

Community health issues were identified when Teton County’s quantitative data did not meet a goal from the federal Healthy People 2020 program or when Teton County performed statistically worse than the state average. The top community issues identified from the quality of life survey were used to substantiate the issues identified from the quantitative data.

The committee also distinguished between community health issues and social determinants of health. Healthy People 2020 defines social determinants of health as conditions in the environments in which people are born, live, learn, work, play, and age that affect a range of health outcomes and risks. These conditions include factors like socioeconomic status, education, the physical environment, employment, and social support networks.

The social determinants of health identified this year were severe housing, access to care, and food insecurity. Public Health Director, Jodie Pond stated, “The social determinants of health are multifaceted and require a system-wide approach to address these issues. They are best addressed by bringing nontraditional partners together to focus these concerns.”

For additional information about the Teton County MAPP process, visit www.healthytetoncounty.org or call Julia Heemstra at 307.739.7244 or Jodie Pond at 307.732.8461.

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