FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Date: January 24, 2023
Contact: Black Hawk County Health Department
Black Hawk County Public Health announces the release of the FY23-25 Community Health Improvement Plan. Food Insecurity and Mental Health & Trauma continue to be top priority issues for the community. The work is the result of a collaborative partnership between Black Hawk County Public Health, MercyOne, Peoples Community Health Clinic, and UnityPoint Health - Waterloo to assess and improve the health of the community and included the participation of over 2000 community members and 55 partners.
Health equity is a foundational principle for implementation of the plan, as well as for each phase of the ongoing community health improvement cycle. “By deepening and broadening our community partnerships, we build trust to ensure that the root causes of health inequities are always at the forefront of our work”, said Kaitlin Emrich, deputy director.
The plan, accompanied by a summary of the assessment and process, lists goals, measurable objectives, and strategies for each priority issue. It also builds on actions implemented during the previous health improvement cycle, including the development of inclusive Mental Health Resources and a study of the nutritional environment in local retail food stores. Actions to implement, monitor, and report back to the community will be guided by the Black Hawk County Community Health Improvement Steering Committee representation from healthcare, education, and community organizations and has a vision of ensuring that all people have equitable opportunities and resources to lead healthier, more fulfilled lives.
Improving access to care and decreasing sexually transmitted infections (STIs) were identified as emerging issues by the Steering Committee. Community organizations, coalitions, and individuals should also consider prioritizing actions for these issues
The Black Hawk County priority issues and health equity focus align with the recently released 2021-2022 Iowa State Health Assessment as well as the actions noted in the 2023-2027 State Health Improvement Plan regarding the importance of strengthening partnerships.
Black Hawk County Public Health exists to ensure that people in our community have equitable opportunities and resources to lead healthier, more fulfilling, and longer lives. Established in 1969, the health department's mission is to protect people in our community from health hazards, promote healthy behaviors, and prevent disease. Black Hawk County Public Health was accredited by the National Public Health Accreditation Board in 2022. For more information about health department services visit the Black Hawk County Public Health website.