Cuyahoga County’s first joint community health assessment will help partners achieve the goal of Transforming Health Together

In the ongoing effort to improve health outcomes in Cuyahoga County, local partners, including Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland Department of Public Health, Cuyahoga County Board of Health, Health Improvement Partnership-Cuyahoga (HIP-Cuyahoga), The Center for Health Affairs and University Hospitals (UH), have conducted a joint community health assessment. Previously, public health and hospital community health assessments were completed independently in Cuyahoga County. The 2018 Cuyahoga County Community Health Assessment marks a turning point toward a new, more effective, and collaborative approach to identify the health needs of the community.

The 2018 Cuyahoga County Community Health Assessment is a bridge to the next assessment to be completed in 2019. This assessment enables Cleveland Department of Public Health, Cuyahoga County Board of Health, and eight hospitals in the University Hospitals health system to partner and collaborate on a smaller scale prior to conducting a more comprehensive health assessment next year.

 

This collaborative community health assessment represents a new way of working together as we highlight a shared vision of improved health for our community,” said Dr. Heidi Gullett, HIP-Cuyahoga co-chair and assistant professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. “This process brought together both local health departments and University Hospitals to focus on what matters most to our community. The relationships built during this process will enable a comprehensive and inclusive 2019 assessment which will result in new shared priorities on which we will all work together for the next three years. This is a critical step in moving toward equity, creating opportunity for everyone to be healthy, in Cuyahoga County.

 

The 2019 health assessment will include the current partners as well as additional Cuyahoga County hospitals and stakeholders that are not required to report until 2019. This will ensure that authentic community engagement is a central part of the planning and improvement process.

 

This is a really exciting moment that would not have been possible without many incredibly committed individuals working for years to build trust and create systems change within their organizations,” said Kirstin Craciun, director of community outreach at The Center for Health Affairs. “Hospital and public health stakeholders have demonstrated the ability to find tangible ways of working together, with community, with the goal of creating opportunities for all of our residents to achieve their highest health potential.” Dr. Gullett and Craciun co-chaired the 2018 health assessment steering committee.

 

While the region boasts first-class health care at its highly rated healthcare institutions, Cuyahoga County ranks in the bottom third in Ohio for health outcomes. Some Cuyahoga County residents are born and live in communities where it is difficult to grow up healthy and maintain good health. Favorable living conditions and opportunities for physical, emotional, and social growth form the foundation for health; without these, people are more likely to live shorter, sicker lives.

 

Recognizing the opportunity to improve health outcomes through more coordinated, equity-grounded health planning, HIP-Cuyahoga prioritized the need to create stronger connections between public and clinical health in 2015. HIP-Cuyahoga is a cross-sector partnership working to build opportunities for everyone in Cuyahoga County to have a fair chance to be healthy.  This approach was chosen based on the belief that it will help reduce barriers and create opportunities for all to reach their fullest health potential in Cuyahoga County.

 

A critical first step in achieving more aligned community health planning in Cuyahoga County has been the development of a joint community health assessment among public health and hospital stakeholders. Certain hospitals are required to complete a community health needs assessment, commonly referred to as CHNA, and corresponding implementation strategy at least once every three years. This assessment meets federal I.R.S. requirements for the 2018 CHNA for UH Ahuja Medical Center, UH Regional Hospitals (Bedford and Richmond Campuses), The Parma Community General Hospital Association d/b/a UH Parma Medical Center, UH St. John Medical Center, UH Cleveland Medical Center, UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital, and UH Beachwood Rehabilitation Hospital, LLC. Completing a community health assessment and a corresponding community health improvement plan are also integral parts of the process that local and state health departments must undertake to obtain accreditation. Conducting collaborative assessments has shown to be an effective way to make real improvements in health outcomes in other Ohio counties and areas outside of Cuyahoga County and, most remarkably, in New York State, where they improved their state health ranking to 10th place from 40th in the U.S. over the last two decades.

 

The Cleveland Department of Public Health, Cuyahoga County Board of Health, and University Hospitals were all required to complete a community health assessment in 2018 and chose to work collaboratively to develop a single, coordinated report. This shift in the way health assessments are conducted by Cuyahoga County’s two local public health stakeholders and one of its largest healthcare systems is a deliberate attempt to work together more effectively and efficiently. Further, it demonstrates the commitment of these partners to gaining a deeper understanding of the significant health inequities that have plagued our county.

 

Based on the health needs identified in the 2018 Cuyahoga County Community Health Assessment, the following represents the list of prioritized health needs that will be the focus of the one-year equity-grounded implementation plan:

 

  1. Poverty (i.e., healthy homes, food insecurity)
  2. Opioids / substance use disorders / mental and behavioral health
  3. Infant mortality
  4. Homicides / violence / safety
  5. Chronic disease management and prevention (i.e., cancer, diabetes, COPD, asthma, cardiovascular disease, healthy eating / active living)

Click here to visit the assessment page

Ro Digga and Haz Matt help show how HIP-Cuyahoga is creating a healthy opportunities for all

HIP-Cuyahoga successfully coordinated the collection of personal care products, and then the distribution at the Food Pantry and Care Pack Drive on Saturday, August 18th at Philemon Community Baptist Church in East Cleveland. Two local radio stations, WZAK 93.1 FM and Z107.9 FM helped promote the event and let community members know to come out and receive a helping hand. DJ Haz Matt from WZAK made announcements live on the radio from the event, and Ro Digga from Z1079 interviewed several of the coordinators of the event on Facebook Live.  The event was truly inspiring. Over 300 families received fresh, healthy food including produce, lean meats, bread and packs of personal care items. Partners who supported this event by collecting donated items from employees and/or the community include Hanson Services, The Cleveland Institute for Community Health, the Cuyahoga County Board of Health, the Prevention Research Center for Healthy Neighborhoods, The Case Western Reserve University Comprehensive Cancer Care Center, and the Cleveland Museum of Natural History. Two local retailers, Discount Drug Mart and the Dollar General of Bedford generously contributed multiple shopping cart loads of hygiene and health products from their shelves as well. Helping Hands, a service organization based at Philemon, runs food pantries, community meals, clothing drives and other projects to help neighbors in need.  Anjenette Whitted, who organized all of the volunteers and runs Helping Hands, led us through a seamless event. Cars lined up down the street, and drove through two lines of volunteers ready to load their car. In all, the day filled the hearts of recipients and volunteers with a sense of community and support.

“I help because I can. You never know when you are the one who is going to need a helping hand” ~ Anjenette Whitted.

Cuyahoga County supermarket work receives national recognition

CUYAHOGA COUNTY BOARD OF HEALTH RECEIVES 2018 NACCHO MODEL PRACTICE AWARD
CCBH is one of 29 health departments nationwide to be honored for excellence
The Cuyahoga County Board of Health was presented with the 2018 Model Practice Award by the National Association of City and County Health Officials (NACCHO) at its annual conference in July. The award recognizes local health departments for developing programs that demonstrate exemplary and replicable practices in response to a critical local public health need.
CCBH’s award-winning program, “Implementing High Quality Supermarkets Through Community Organizing and Public Health,” highlights the power of coalition building and resident participation as ways to address unjust access and supermarket quality. The program also focuses on associated issues such as community-based collaboration, employment, and resident quality of life.
OVERVIEW CCBH organized a coalition with the intent of developing a high-quality supermarket in a working-class neighborhood in the city of Euclid, an area with low access to grocery items. The supermarket implementation process was unique as it involved direct participation from nearly 600 local residents. The group offered feedback and oversight in order to ensure food quality standards, to establish and maintain relevance to the neighborhood, and to build trust and accountability with the store owner.
$650,000 was secured by CCBH from a state funding source and the City of Euclid provided $125,000 from its storefront renovation program, which is supported by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). The supermarket now employs 45 workers and sales of fresh produce have exceeded $400,000 in the first ten months of operation.

Click here to read the submission

One Life video sheds light on infant mortality in the Cleveland area

The One Life Documentary was developed by the Cuyahoga County Child and Family Health Service’s Ohio Infant Mortality Reduction Initiative (OIMRI). The goal of the OIMRI program is to reduce the number of Black infants that die before their first birthday by providing supportive services to families in targeted communities. Families in these under-resourced communities, which are predominantly Black communities, are challenged by poor access to quality education and jobs, healthy foods, and affordable quality housing.  This lack of access creates a stressful environment; compounding disadvantages that stand as barriers to a healthy pregnancy and birth outcome.   These stark realities emphasize the need to address these social inequities in order to create fair opportunities for healthy birth outcomes for all families.

One Life explores root causes of Ohio’s alarming high infant mortality rates through local perspectives and personal stories.  Black women, at every socioeconomic level, have higher rates of infant mortality than white women who have not finished high school. In Ohio, black babies die at more than twice the rate of its white babies, and right here in Cuyahoga County, the Black infant mortality rate is three times that of white babies.

For more information please contact Angela Newman at anewman@ccbh.net