PHAC Group
Left to right: PHAC Members, Marc Hiller, UNH Department of Health Management and Policy; Betsey Andrews Parker, Community Action Partnership for Strafford County; Mary Ellen Gourdeau, American Ambulance/Ready Strafford; Mary Wilson, SAU 64 Milton; Anne Grassie, Rochester Child Care Center; Janet Laatsch, Goodwin Community Health; Dean LeMire, ONE Voice for Strafford County; Mollie Behan, Strafford County Public Health Network; Tracey Collins, Frisbie Memorial Hospital; Liz Clark, Strafford County Public Health Network; Michelle Hanson, Wentworth Douglas Hospital; and Liz Durfee, Strafford Regional Planning Commission.

The Strafford County Public Health Network has released a 3-year Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). The CHIP is a systematic, county-wide plan that summarizes the health of the county, assesses gaps and assets, and recommends evidence based solutions to address the county’s most pressing public health issues.

The CHIP was driven by the Strafford County Public Health Advisory Council (PHAC) Network, comprised of over 165 local stakeholders, including medical, educational, government, law enforcement, and social service personnel. The PHAC Executive Board and Network met regularly over the past year and a half to prioritize the county’s most pressing health issues, and craft strategies to address these issues. In addition, the PHAC Executive Board, comprised of 18 high level subject matter experts, guided the creation of the CHIP and will be overseeing the implementation.

Strafford County currently ranks 8 out of 10 in the state for overall health outcomes, health behaviors and self-reported quality of life according to the 2015 County Health Rankings. Other concerning Strafford County health findings include a 31% adult obesity rate, the highest rate for hospital admissions attributable to stroke, less than 1/3 of residents report being prepared for a wide scale disaster or emergency, and has a high overdose rate, with 4 communities making the top 10 for naloxone administration in the state.

The top 5 priority areas are Substance Misuse (Prevention, Treatment and Recovery), Mental Health, Obesity and Nutrition, Emergency Preparedness, and Heart Disease and Stroke. Each of these priority areas were assigned goals, objectives, measures and evidence based strategies, and is to be used as a guideline for organizations and community stakeholders in the area to improve the health in the county. A few of the initiatives selected in the CHIP are already in the making including creating a recovery community center for those suffering from addiction, building a Healthy Eating Active Living (HEAL) coalition, and strengthening coordination with hospitals and human service organizations to better align resources.

To successfully implement the CHIP, continued collaboration among community organizations and stakeholders will be critical. To get involved and to view the full Community Health Improvement Plan visit scphn.org

About The Strafford County Public Health Network
The Strafford County Public Health Network (SCPHN) is part is one of thirteen regions in NH that strives to improve the health, wellness, and quality of life for all individuals in Strafford County. The SCPHN is an umbrella program that also includes ONE Voice for Strafford County, which is focused on substance misuse prevention, treatment and recovery, as well as Ready Strafford which is focused on emergency preparedness. SCPHN works to align multiple public health priorities while developing an integrated system. SCPHN is representative of Dover, Rochester, Durham, Somersworth, Barrington, Farmington, Milton, Lee, Strafford, New Durham, Rollinsford, Middleton, Madbury, and the University of New Hampshire. The Strafford County Public Health Network is located at Goodwin Community Health. For more information or to get involved, please visit www.scphn.org under the contact us section.

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