Community Health Improvement Planning Session

The Cascade City-County Health Department, Benefis Health System, and United Way of Cascade County are sharing results of a recent community health needs assessment and are asking the public and health stakeholders to guide and prioritize strategies to advance health in Cascade County.

The community health improvement planning session meeting will be held Friday, May 17, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Benefis Sletten Cancer Institute at 1117 29th St. S. Registration is at 8:45 a.m.

Cascade City-County Health Department’s Health Officer, Alicia M. Thompson, indicated the goals for the day are to 1) decide on the three top priority areas that our community will focus on over the next three years and 2) identify steering committees that will work toward achieving measurable goals in each priority area.

“The results will give the larger public health system marching orders for the next three years,” Thompson said. “By strategically focusing resources, various service providers will be working together to help our community be a better, healthier, and safer place to live.”

Every three years, the county performs a comprehensive community health needs assessment (CHNA) to gauge the health of people living here. This year’s CHNA includes information from respondents to a survey of randomly selected households in Cascade County. It also includes additional data from other sources that were not available in 2011.

United Way of Cascade County President Gary Owen said that the nonprofit is excited to take part in the planning session and to help advance the goals that emerge from the meeting.

“Improving people’s health is critical to a stronger community,” Owen said. “We know that healthy children do better in school, healthy adults are more productive members of our community, and healthy seniors lead a higher quality of life.”

Mr. Owen stressed that along with healthcare leaders, it’s important that community members who are passionate about the health of Cascade County attend the planning session, share their opinions and help guide the direction of community initiatives.

“We know that community members have valuable perspectives on how to bring about positive change in health outcomes,” he said. “We strongly encourage participation by anyone with an interest, so please attend and share your comments at the session next Friday.”