Board of Health adopts Community Health Improvement Plan

By on April 14, 2012

Kane County—The Kane County Board of Health Tuesday adopted the Kane County 2012-2016 Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP), a comprehensive set of policy and program recommendations for our community.

It identifies areas where the public can have the largest impact on improving the quality of life for all Kane residents—particularly the most vulnerable residents of our community—by reducing preventable sickness and death.

Two versions of the plan (one with and one without appendices), a comprehensive data book and an executive summary are available for viewing at www.kanehealth.com/chip.htm

“There are many factors that affect our health and have a tremendous influence on health outcomes,” said Kane County Health Department Executive Director Paul Kuehnert. “The physical environment, social and economic factors, and clinical care all play a role in an individual’s health and are all incorporated into the plan.”

The CHIP was developed based on the results of the Community Health Assessment. Throughout 2011, the Health Department, in partnership with the five hospitals in the county, the Fox Valley United Way, the United Way of Elgin, and the INC Board, jointly funded and led the collection of social, economic, health and other data to better understand the health of our community. For the first time, more than 1,500 adults were surveyed about their health. The survey also asked 420 adults about the health of a child in their home. The assessment also included a number of public meetings and focus groups to gather input directly from residents. All of the data and information collected through the assessment is included in the plan.

The assessment led to the identification of six top threats to community health across Kane County. The threats are 1.) Obesity, 2.) Chronic Diseases, 3.) Infant Mortality, 4.) Childhood Lead Poisoning, 5.) Communicable Disease, 6.) Poor Social & Emotional Wellness. The Plan recommends a focus on four priority areas and 16 evidence-based strategies to address these top health issues over the next five years. The Plan establishes a framework for community organizations, employers, municipalities, schools, residents and others to work towards improving the health of our communities.

The CHIP aligns with the County’s update to the 2040 Plan which recognizes and emphasizes the connection between the most important resource in Kane County – its people – with the opportunities and barriers for healthy living created by the built and natural environment, and how together they shape the overall health of communities. The 2040 Plan will be the first Kane County Plan to integrate planning for community health with land use and transportation issues. This new approach was formalized by the Kane County Board in October 2010 through the adoption of the 2040 Conceptual Land Use Strategy Report.

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