Addressing health problems in communities takes more than understanding what causes them or who they impact most. It takes a motivated network of stakeholders to define policies, bring resources, and build appropriate programs. What can you do to successfully convene and motivate local thought leaders to help you in your public health cause?
Motivating others to work with you requires a command of the relevant facts to build a reasonable conversation. Commanding local data, defining local health problems (in terms of needed policies, plans and programs) will help you form a team of local stakeholders that can support your vision of a healthier community.
This year the RWJF released its fifth edition of its county health ranking report. The report focuses on the relationship between how you feel and where you live. The website provides a user friendly set of online tools for understanding demographic variables and performing health analysis that can help you increase your “health literacy” as a community member, stakeholder, policy maker and leader with a focus on addressing community health challenges.
The following resources will help you make progress on the health issues impacting your community.
The Policy ThinkShop provides you with the following summary of the findings and user friendly links to the website where you can plugin your state, county, etc., and get your data:
Also, you can search the site for best practice programs and policies:
“This year’s County Health Rankings report shows some important trends, including:
Teen birth rates have decreased about 25 percent since 2007.
The rate of preventable hospital stays decreased about 20 percent from 2003 to 2011.
Smoking rates dropped from 21 percent in 2005 to 18 percent in 2012.
Completion of at least some college attendance increased slightly from 59 percent in 2005 to 64 percent in 2012.
This year’s report also features several new measures:
Almost 1 in 5 households are overcrowded, pose a severe cost burden, or lack adequate facilities to cook, clean, or bathe.
These problems are greatest on the East and West coasts, in Alaska, and in parts of the South.
More than three-quarters of workers drive to work alone and among them 33 percent drive longer than a half hour each way.
Driving contributes to physical inactivity, obesity and air pollution.
People in many parts of the country face food insecurity or the threat of hunger and limited access to healthy foods, especially in counties in the Southwest, across parts of the South and in the Western United States.
Amid growing attention to mental health care, the availability of mental health providers in the healthiest counties in each state is 1.3 times higher than in the least healthy counties.
The west and northeast regions of the country have the best access to mental health providers.
The third-leading cause of death in the United States, injury death rates are 1.7 times higher in the least healthy counties than in the healthiest counties.
These rates are particularly high in the Southwest, part of the Northwest including Alaska and in the East South Central and Appalachian regions.
Access to parks or recreational facilities in the healthiest counties is 1.4 times higher than in the least healthy counties.”
More via ‘A Starting Point for Change’: Fifth Edition of the County Health Rankings Released Today – Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
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