172946 County Health Department and Local Partners Collaborate with Medical School Research Unit for Community Health Improvement

Monday, October 27, 2008

Deborah G. Lischwe, MS , Health Systems Research, University of Illinois College of Medicine at Rockford, Rockford, IL
Michele D. Fishburn, BA , Knox County (IL) Health Department, Galesburg, IL
Effective health planning depends on strong community participation and a thorough assessment of local health problems. While broadly representative of the communities they serve, local public health departments often lack resources and expertise for in-depth data analysis. Academic institutions, on the other hand, are frequently isolated from community-based, health assessment processes.

Health Systems Research, part of the University Of Illinois College Of Medicine, assisted the Healthy Communities Project Citizen Workgroup of the Knox County Health Department by collecting and analyzing extensive information about the county's health, demographics, social and economic indicators for a “midpoint” review as part of their five-year community health improvement plan. The Citizen Workgroup used the data to address and monitor six identified priority health concerns.

This model of an academic and practice relationship enabled the public health department to use a comprehensive, data-driven approach to health assessment, while the medical school gained opportunities to connect the training of medical professionals with county-based, community health planning initiatives.

Learning Objectives:
Understand the importance of extensive health, demographic, social and economic data analysis as a solid base for planning and implementation Relate the usefulness and applications of this model to their own circumstances and professional environment Identify the benefits of an academic-county health department partnership

Keywords: Community Health Planning, Health Assessment

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am a research analyst at the University of Illinois
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.