We have a unique model in Buncombe County that we are particularly proud of, energized by, and thankful to be a part of. Every North Carolina health department is required to produce a community health assessment (CHA) and subsequent action plan. Most accomplish this with the help of a local coalition. In our county and region, we chose to broaden our perspective with the Community Health Improvement Process (CHIP) and to assure an intentional connection with our health systems across our region. The result is called WNC Healthy Impact, which is the foundation of our CHIP structure and is the organizational effort that brought hospitals and health departments across a 16-county region together in a very intentional way to orchestrate a model CHA/CHIP process.
Additionally, Buncombe County Health and Human Services (BCHHS) holds a unique contract with MAHEC that supports the Health Improvement Specialists. This partnership with MAHEC has enabled the community health improvement process to be richer and farther reaching, as well as to build a stronger connection between community health and health care. BCHHS has had a longstanding relationship with our Mission partners around the CHA/CHIP and that has only grown stronger through Healthy Impact and the HHS-MAHEC partnership. The CHIP Leadership Team is a reflection of the HHS, MAHEC, Mission partnership working closely with the elected Chair and Co-Chair of the Advisory Board. We are proud of our model and hope you are as well.
The leadership team will be undertaking a strategic planning process in January. Remaining a strong, relevant and productive coalition requires periodic assessment of ourselves. Much like the strategic planning session the CHIP Advisory did in 2015, this will focus on the leadership team in an effort to continue to improve effectiveness and advisory board leadership.
We are also pleased to introduce Zo Mpofu, pictured lower front left. Zo is one of the latest additions to Health and Human Services, sitting in Public Health and reporting to the Health Director, Jan Shepard. Zo will serve as a Program Consultant for the CHA/CHIP process. Zo will also sit on the CHIP
Leadership Team and you will see her at CHIP Advisory Board meetings. She will work closely with our Health Improvement Specialists and MAHEC as we continue through our CHA/CHIP cycle. You will meet Zo and learn more about her at our next CHIP board meeting. We are also pleased to report that the second round of interviews is underway for the Health Improvement Specialist position and we expect to have our new team member on board by mid January or early February.
We will not meet as a full board in January on 1/5/17, so please take that meeting off your calendar. The leadership team will communicate with the full board after the strategic planning session.
We wish to thank all of you for your dedication to community health improvement. We have had a productive year in which each of you have contributed greatly. The process of community health improvement is not a quick one, and your tireless efforts to remain engaged is remarkable. Have a wonderful holiday season and we look forward to seeing you in 2017!
Jan, Zo, Sonya, Allison, Stephanie, and Frank