Get Healthy Idaho Model for Change
The Get Healthy Idaho planning process identified Behavioral Health, Overweight & Obesity, Unintentional Injury and Diabetes as the health priority focus areas for the division of public health through 2024. To address these health concerns, the division is investing resources and partnering with communities to determine the root causes of poor health outcomes unique to each community and develop specific community-driven, placed-based solutions.
2020 marked the first year of the Get Healthy Idaho initiative with funding for selected communities. Initial foundation building activities included:
Educating department staff and external partners about the the social determinants of health and GHI's focus on community led, place-based initiatives.
Researching effective models from other states or communities.
Developing an operational structure.
Engaging with key partners and identifying opportunities for collaboration.
Identifying a funding model and funding sources to support this work both internally and in the first funded community.
In December 2020, the Western Idaho Community Health Collaborative (WICHC), was awarded the first round of funding from GHI to develop community-led solutions to reduce health disparities in Elmore County.
In August 2021, the United Way of Southeastern Idaho, was awarded the second round of funding for work which commenced in Bannock County during the fall of 2021. GHI hopes to add an additional community each year going forward. The effort will support each community for up to four years.
POPULATION HEALTH FRAMEWORK (Health Factors/Health Outcomes)
The Division of Public Health is applying a data-informed approach to identify communities with significant health disparities where investments in upstream approaches will be most effective. To identify these communities, the division developed a data dashboard showing county-level health outcome measures (incidence, prevalence, mortality, etc.) combined with the health determinant indices. Indices are composite measures that combine multiple social determinant of health factors into one "score".
COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT & HEALTH COLLABORATIVES
To be effective, the GHI model requires authentically engaging with, listening to, and including community members in all phases of the initiative. Funded community organizations serving as the lead of local GHI efforts will build trust and facilitate open communication with partners and community members throughout their first year, and ongoing, to build relationships, align missions, and mobilize resources. Encouraging a diverse representation of community members and leaders to engage in the initiative will empower partners be actively involved in decision-making efforts that will ensure solutions are created by and for the community. Community member engagement will occur both through participation on local collaboratives as well as inclusion in the community health assessment process, community action team, setting priorities, identifying resources and designing solutions. Continual engagement and feedback of residents will be vital to ensure the work is driven by, and meets the needs of, the community. Doing this effectively will ensure community buy-in and support for planned improvements that will help them become sustainable long into the future.
Combining existing secondary data (such as BRFSS, American Community Survey, and local level health data) with qualitative feedback from surveys and focus groups will help collaboratives gain a better understanding of the known assets, barriers, and opportunities that exist in the community and the community conditions and policies that may contribute to disparities in health outcomes. Once priorities have been identified, the collaborative will then create an actionable plan with evidence-based/informed interventions and activities.
COMMUNITY ACTION PLANS FOR POLICY AND SYSTEM LEVEL CHANGE
The action plan implementation phase is funded for approximately three years. Throughout this period, the department will provide technical assistance to awarded communities to support collaboratives as they advance their collective capacity, knowledge of best practices and implementation of effective solutions. Action plans are driven by the community collaborative and informed by data specific to the community's unique challenges, needs and opportunities. The department will support awarded communities to identify relevant policy, system and environmental changes based on what is most critical to the community and will have the most impact on improving health outcomes.
Health happens where people live. To reduce health disparities, the policies, systems and environmental interventions chosen by each community must be equity-centered so that healthy opportunities are available and attainable for everyone in the community.