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Missoula Health Assessment outlines city-county poverty, transportation, jobs

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Our View: Contribute to Brown County health needs assessment

In 2011, oral health was identified as one of three critical health issues in the Brown County Community Health Assessment report.

Oral health, nutrition and alcohol and drug abuse were chosen from 15 areas by health care, education, law enforcement and human services officials in Brown County.

Six years later, oral health didn’t even make the top five priorities that stakeholders identified at last month’s Beyond Health Community Health Assessment Summit.

It doesn’t mean the problem has been erased, but it does mean that its inclusion as a top priority was able to amplify collaboration and align resources in the community to help bring it to a point where the momentum can now be sustained. The goal has been “to promote and improve oral health and assure access to effective and adequate oral health services for the benefit of all Brown County citizens.”

The fact that it’s not in the top three or four shows progress.

Now it’s time to re-examine our priorities.

As Beyond Health – a partnership of Brown County health departments, health care providers and the United Way – considers the priorities identified at its summit last month, it wants help from the public.

Summit participants voted mental health as the top health issue that should be addressed. This was followed, in order, by drug and alcohol, obesity/physical activity/nutrition, environmental health, a culture of safety and oral health.

The Beyond Health group would like to hear from you. Do you agree with these priorities? Are there other priorities that should be considered? Do you have a more focused issue, like opioid abuse instead of “drug and alcohol”?

Let us know. You can comment on this story on our Facebook page or email us at forum@greenbaypressgazette.com.

The health issues identified at the summit and through community input will be narrowed down to more specific action plans as part of the 2018-2020 Community Health Improvement Plan. The plan will guide objectives, ensure systems are in place to adequately address these issues and prioritize funding.

Your feedback is important. The world officials see sometimes doesn’t align with the world of the people they serve, the Brown County community.

Insight from people dealing with some of these health issues is key to addressing them.

The state requires public health departments conduct an assessment every five years, but non-profit health care systems have to do it every three years. To align efforts to maximize impact, our public health and health care officials have collaborated to assess health priorities every three years.

The Community Health Improvement Plan, expected to be released in early 2018, will guide these groups for the next three years.

Let us know what you see as priorities and have a voice in identifying health focus areas.

Beyond Health

Beyond Health is a collaboration between Brown County Public Health, city of De Pere Public Health, Aurora Baycare, Bellin Health, HSHS St. Mary’s and HSHS St. Vincent Hospitals, and Brown County United Way.

Health department begins gathering public data for state assessment – Casper Star

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