Every five years, local boards of health are responsible to lead a community-wide discussion with stakeholders and residents about their community’s health needs. Buena Vista County Board of Health has designated Buena Vista County Public Health and Home Care to complete this duty on their behalf. After identifying needs in the community the next step is to identify strategies to address those needs. The process, Community Health Needs Assessment and Health Improvement Plan (CHNA and HIP) is a fundamental piece of statewide health planning. CHNA and HIP has more than a 20 year history in Iowa and represents local action to promote and protect the health of Iowans.
Buena Vista County Public Health and Home Care met with local community stakeholders in the fall of 2010. We reviewed health data specific to Buena Vista County, determined our three priority issues and developed a five year plan to make health improvements in our county. Buena Vista County’s three priority health needs as determined by this process are colon cancer, obesity rates and limited access to mental health assistance.
In February of 2011, all 99 counties in Iowa submitted a brief report on their needs assessment and health improvement plans to the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH). IDPH has completed a comprehensive analysis of the CHNA and HIP submissions and issued a report, Understanding Community Health Needs in Iowa. The report demonstrates the scope of Iowa’s health needs and identifies critical issues affecting the health of Iowans.