One of the primary core functions of public health is assessment. The East Central District Health Department has been involved in some form of assessment on a yearly basis since 2000 (when it was known as the Platte Colfax County District Health Department). Following an extensive review of the public health literature, the Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnership (MAPP) approach was selected and identified in 2001 as the strategic planning approach of choice for the health department. MAPP is a community-driven, strategic planning tool, which was developed by The National Association of City and County Officials (NACCHO) in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The department completed it’s first full planning and action cycle in December of 2005.
The MAPP cycle has four assessments which are the essential building blocks of MAPP are four assessments which provide critical insights into the health challenges and opportunities confronting the community.
- Community Themes and Strengths Assessment:
Provides a deep understanding of the issues residents feel are important, including how quality of life is perceived in the community.
- Local Public Health System Assessment:
This involves a comprehensive assessment of all of the organizations and entities that contribute to the publics’ health. The ECDHD is included here, of course, but other vital organizations also are included (hospitals, schools, service organizations, law enforcement, etc.).
- Community Health Status Assessment:
Identifies priority issues related to community health and quality of life.
- Forces of Change Assessment:
Focuses upon the identification of forces such as legislation, public policy, technology, and the social-economic trends that all impact the community and its public health system.
The four assessments made a crucial contribution to the analytical phase of the MAPP process including the Identification of Strategic Issues and the Formulation of Goals and Action Steps to address each strategic issue.
Once the four assessments are completed then the process of choosing the next strategic public health issues that the community will work on will begin. Once the issues are chosen the action cycle will begin.
"Community ownership is the fundamental component of MAPP. Because the community's strengths, needs, and desires drive the process, MAPP provides the framework for creating a truly community-driven initiative." MAPP Field Guide
Assessment and strategic planning have driven the development of all the current services ECDHD provides. Assessment information is available from all the current and past assessments by contacting the department.
Community Health Improvement Plans
A Community Health Improvement Plan or “CHIP” is a three year community developed plan specific to ECDHD or one of the four counties we serve. A CHIP is a systematic effort to address health problems on the basis of the results of assessment activities and the community health improvement process. This plan is used by our health department and our hospitals in collaboration with community partners, to set priorities and coordinate and target resources to solve identified community problems and needs. Download CHIP documents here…
Download Community Health Improvement Plans (PDF)