Community Health Improvement
We mobilize our public health system partners along with individuals in the community to improve health. This is how we’re doing it. 
Our Approach

"Nothing About Us Without Us"

Our community health improvement planning is based on the national Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships (MAPP) model, a community-wide strategic planning process that provided us with a framework, guidance, structure, and best practices for developing a healthier community. The Community Health Improvement Steering Committee guides the work for each phase of the process and includes representation from the Black Hawk County Health Department, Peoples Community Health Clinic, MercyOne, UnityPoint Health and the Cedar Valley United Way.

"Nothing About Us Without Us" emerged an often cited phrase used by participants during the co-creation of strategic actions. This idea - that no action should be decided without the direct participation of members of the group(s) affected by that action – also defines the transformational nature of this community’s collaborative plan. Initial steps in the action cycle will focus on seeking alignment and accountability regarding community resources and gaps as well as performing research to develop culturally-specific actions and plans that consider race, ethnicity and geography.

Community Health Assessment (CHA)

The focus of the 2022 CHA was to update the 2020 quantitative data as well as obtain public feedback on the priority issues that affect healthy living and the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This update, combined with the 2020 CHA, includes data collection and analysis of the four MAPP assessments that measure varying aspects of health for the Black Hawk County community. Approximately 2,000 community members and 55 key partners participated in the process.

Our Health Equity Initiatives
Taking Action

Using the MAPP framework, the Black Hawk County Board of Health adopted three priority issues for strategic action:

Systems Thinking

Our Goal

Create a community where everyone has equitable opportunities and resources to lead healthier and more fulfilling lives by building a systems practice culture.

Mental Health & Trauma

Our Goal

Increase understanding, access and utilization of mental health services through trauma-informed culturally specific care.

Healthy Behaviors

Our Goal

Increase equitable access to healthy food & beverages to improve the health of Black Hawk County community members.

Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP)

Task teams were formed for each of the Board of Health priority issues to study the data along with understanding the alignment with other planning initiatives. Resources, policies, and actions related to the priority issue were also examined along with considerations of culturally-specific actions, examining data through an equity lens and the importance of considering geography. From these steps, the teams prepared a goal statement, measurable objectives and strategic actions for consideration by the Steering Committee and the Black Hawk County Board of Health. The Board approved the CHIP on October 28, 2020.

The Steering Committee continues to meet to guide the ongoing work of the current CHIP and plan for the next community health improvement cycle.