- Community Health Improvement Plan
Community Health Improvement Plan
Substance Use and Recovery
In 2021, public health and health care partners from across the Ozarks came together to assess the health needs of our region. Building on the success of the 2019 Regional Health Assessment, the Ozarks Health Commission worked to better understand the health needs, outcomes, and resources of our community. The 2022 Community Health Needs Assessment combines more than 140 indicators from area hospitals, population data, and input from stakeholders and community members. This process resulted in the identification of three priority health issues for the Springfield Community (Greene, Christian, and Webster Counties): mental health, substance use & recovery, and diabetes.
View the full 2022 Community Health Needs Assessment at OzarksHealthCommission.org
In order to address the priority health issues identified in the 2022 Community Health Needs Assessment, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, along with local healthcare and mental health partners, began the process of identifying strategies for the 2022 Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP).
Identifying the strategies for the CHIP involved researching what programs and systems already exist in Springfield, where there are gaps and understanding what evidence-based initiatives have been successful in other communities. Also, the feasibility of initiatives was evaluated for the following:
- Level of local control.
- Budget needs and availability.
- Reach of impact.
- Level of impact.
- Organization or community challenges.
Through the planning process, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department identified four strategies for the 2022 CHIP:
- Establish the Family Connects model in Greene County.
- Create the Overdose Fatality Review Board.
- Become a Trauma-Informed Community.
- Implement a Community Information Exchange.
- Family Connects
- Overdose Fatality Review Board
- Community Information Exchange
- Trauma-Informed Community
Family Connects seeks to provide support to new parents in caring for their newborn(s) through home visits and connection to community resources. The program would provide nursing visits for families after an infant is born to assess the health and community connections of the child and family. There are approximately 3,300 babies born each year in Greene County. Under the Family Connects model, all would be eligible for services if the family accepts. After the visit, Family Connects nurses will improve the wellbeing of the newborn and family by linking families to support and resources. Therefore, this strategy is ideal to accomplish the goal of reducing health disparities and improving health outcomes among children, the 2022 CHNA population of focus.
Substance use has a significant impact on the lives of many Greene County families. This is shown by the disproportionately high rate of overdose fatalities in the community. To help our community better understand the impact of overdoses, the Health Department intends to work with community partners to establish the first Overdose Fatality Review Board.
The local review board, made up of experts from many community partners, looks at the factors and risks behind fatal overdoses aiming to identify ways to prevent future overdoses in the community. Healthcare and public health partners will gather to review the circumstances and risk factors leading up to overdoses. This plan will help identify points of intervention and resources to prevent future overdoses. It will also help us better understand what services are needed to reduce deaths.
According to the 2022 CHIP, the Overdose Fatality Review Board:
- Gives the community partial control and influence over a growing issue.
- Can be implemented within three years.
- Has opportunities to be funded.
- Is a strategy that may impact more than one community.
- Could have some impact on identifying trends and upstream prevention and response efforts.
- And it will require ongoing commitment from the partners involved.
Throughout the process of creating the 2022 Community Health Needs Assessment, it was clear that social determinants of health and health disparities were significantly impacting the health outcomes in the Springfield Community. These impacts were seen across all of the assessed health issues, especially the priority health issues of mental health, substance use & recovery, and diabetes.
In order to engage in multi-sector care coordination to reduce health disparities and improve health outcomes, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department plans to work with healthcare and community partners to implement a Community Information Exchange.
A Community Information Exchange is a digital platform that will allow for more care coordination by partners and community health workers to address individual patient needs. In this model, healthcare is at the center of the care coordination to connect patient to resources to increase their overall health and well-being. Other communities that have implemented similar strategies have seen an increase in the completion of referrals and the utilization of resources. Moreover, it will help identify gaps in service and will impact all three priority health issues and the social determinants of health at the root of the prioritized health outcomes.
This initiative was chosen after evaluating several factors related to its feasibility and potential impact, including:
- The partial level of control that the community will have over implementation.
- Its impact on communities outside of the Springfield Community.
- The direct impact on multiple risk factors.
Similar to many parts of the country, Greene County is experiencing a mental health crisis. In the Springfield Community, the rate of deaths by suicide is 60% higher than in the rest of the United States. To reduce this risk and increase awareness of community resources, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department intends to implement several program, policy, and system changes to create a Trauma-Informed Community.
Trauma-informed communities support trauma-informed care. Those who are trained in the practice understand and recognize that most individuals have a history of trauma. Trauma-informed care encourages providers to recognize the signs and symptoms of trauma in patients, understand its impact and promote paths for recovery. Trauma-informed community development acknowledges the impact trauma has not only on individuals, but entire communities. A trauma-informed community is shown to result in:
- Improved mental health.
- Safer neighborhoods.
- Increased physical activity.
- More resiliency to adverse childhood experiences (ACEs).
Community partners will work together to help implement trauma-informed practices. A benefit of this strategy is that several partners and other organizations are already implementing practices to create a trauma-informed community. Moreover, when reviewing this as a potential strategy for the 2022 CHIP, it was determined that:
- It allows for a high level of local control.
- Implementation could be completed in one to three years.
- It can impact communities outside the Springfield Community.
- And it directly impacts mental health, a priority health issue in the 2022 CHNA.