SAN LUIS VALLEY — The San Luis Valley Public Health Partnership recently completed a regional Community Health Assessment. Based on all the data collected, the six Valley public health directors are now beginning to develop an action plan to improve the health of their communities over the next five years.
The directors thank everyone who participated in community engagement meetings where public health priorities were developed. A variety of common issues emerged across county lines including behavioral health, substance abuse, access to health and dental care, health education, transportation, and early childhood intervention and support for families. A summary of this data is available at local public health agencies and throughout the Valley in the “SLV Community Health Assessment 2018” booklet.
Colorado state law requires each public health agency to prepare a Public Health Improvement Plan every five years. The six SLV public health agencies have been working together to produce a plan that addresses issues that cross county lines, and that also addresses the unique needs of some areas of the Valley.
In December, the SLV Public Health Partnership selected priorities to address health access and capacity issues facing local communities:
PRIORITY 1: Health Equity - everyone has an opportunity to be healthier in a fair and inclusive way.
PRIORITY 2: Build Public Health Capacity
These are areas SLV public health agencies will work on in addition to the core services. Core local public health agency services include vital records; communicable disease investigation, control and prevention; environmental health, including food safety; emergency preparedness and response and health promotion.
Next steps are:
• Select goals and strategies, and build an action plan for the region and each county around these priorities, and
• Prepare a final Public Health Improvement Plan describing the directors’ work, the data that led them to their priorities, a capacity assessment and the action plan.
The San Luis Valley Public Health Partnership is a coalition of the six public health directors in the Valley— Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Mineral (Silver Thread Public Health District), Rio Grande and Saguache— working together to build public health capacity to improve health outcomes.