Friday, February 24, 2017

April Update

Dear Community Partners and Key Stakeholders,
In March our CHIP Advisory learned about exciting efforts in Louisville Kentucky to use the arts as a platform for engaging community and positively impacting health.  Buncombe County Health and Services is working with Kentucky and several other communities to explore how we can use this approach locally. You'll find the PowerPoint from that presentation as well as additional handouts on the right-hand toolbar under Meeting Advisory Materials.

In the public health world, March is a time for reflecting on our community's progress over the past year. BCHHS submitted it's annual State of the County Report to the NC Division of Public Health earlier this month and CHIP advisory members received a brief overview of that reports content. While this is a Buncombe County deliverable, much of our work with CHIP is reflected in this document.  The national County Health Rankings were released this Wednesday.  There was much to be proud of in this report.  We rank #5 among NC in Health Factors that includes health care (where we ranked #2 in the state) as well as health behaviors (with a rank of #7),  Our air quality is steadily improving and we moved from a rank of #49, up from #69 in our physical environment. Concerning is our overall slip in our placement among NC's 100 counties fro 14 to 25.  And while you clearly understand how complex the factors impacting the health of communities are, what stands out the most are slight increases in premature deaths (those before the age of 75), perceptions of poorer health, a significant disparity in infant mortality in our African American families and increases in social and economic disparities. You'll find a link to the Buncombe County's press release here.

We will need your help this month as the Asheville Buncombe Food Policy Council launches the Double Up Food Bucks (DUFB) pilot, although we still don't have a start date as of yet.  The required waiver by the USDA to "incentivize" SNAP benefits uncovered a software challenge for Mother Earth Produce so they have stepped aside to allow the West Village Market become the second pilot for this first phase.(note correction since originally posted).  As soon waivers are received we will send you dates and promotional materials to share with your communities. You can read more on our Food Security Blog page. There are several opportunities to engage in conversations about race and inequity. The YWCA of Asheville invites you to join them for their annual Stand Against Racism campaign pril April 27-30th.  For deeper conversations and to gain deeper understanding of racism and and how you can work toward eliminating racism in our community, please consider registering for the Asheville Racial Equity Institute being offered May 19-20 Engage blog page.

We've been really excited by the tremendous interest by our partners in learning how to use the Results Based Accountability to support and better align our CHIP work across the county.  CHIP staff hosted 18 partners and community organizations last week for another Getting to Results Training.  Continue to let us know of interest in further training opportunities.  In the meantime, WNC Healthy Impact regularly hosts quarterly trainings throughout the region and you will always find them listed on our Learn Blog Page.  

Hopefully this is already on your calendars, but please don't forget to join the Family Justice Center and Buncombe County Partnership for Children for community conversation on how your actions create positive change, featuring Mia Birdsong and the voices of our neighbors and community members. The event will be at the Diana Wortham the evening of April 25th. You'll find many more opportunities for professional development and learning this month on our Learn page, including Blue Cross Blue Shields Nonprofit Leadership Academy (applications due April 15th), a conference on the Many Faces of Heroin and Opioid Addiction in Rocky Mount on April 23 and coming in early June, a two-day Community Resiliency Model Training.

There are several opportunities to support our partners in CHIP this month.  Children First/Community in Schools will host their annual "Are you Smarter Than an Elementary Student" on April 20th at the Morris Hellenic Cultural Center. Loads of fun for a good cause! Pisgah Legal has a campaign underway to match funds from an anonymous donor by April 20th to support their“Justice For All Project” to help eligible immigrants secure work authorization and legal status and other needs. Our Voice, Helpmate, Children First and Pisgah Legal all have job openings that would appreciate you sharing. Learn more on our Support page.


We also want to remind you that you can quickly access the scorecard for your data needs through the link at the upper right toolbar on the Blog page.  If you are still uncomfortable navigating the CHIP scorecard, don't forget the short video tutorial that you see at the top of the scorecard. If you are looking for additional data, visit the priority-specific scorecards.  The HIS staff also monitor many additional indicators and are available for assistance if you need help finding the data you need.


Sincerely,

Deanna, Lourdes and Terri
CHIP Health Improvement Specialists

Monday, January 30, 2017

February Update

Dear Community Partners and Key Stakeholders,

In December 2015 we selected our Community Health Priorities and began the work of our 3-year CHIP cycle.  Over the past 14 months we have worked with approaching 200 community partners.  With our priority workgroups we have identified the results we plan to work toward and some exciting strategies and action plans are being developed. 

Buncombe County is extremely blessed to have many organizations doing great work. What CHIP has contributed is a new framework for bringing diverse partnerships together that starts with with insuring we are all using a common language and a shared way of evaluation that focuses on "is anyone better off".  The CHIP process doesn't seek to develop new programs or initiatives (although sometimes this happens), rather to build on existing strengths and resources for the greatest collective impact. And enthusiasm for this approach is growing.  Our partners have asked for additional training on how to use this approach within their own organizations and next months "Getting to Results" Training has 43 partners signed up with a waiting list.

Here are a few highlights from the CHIP work so far:
  • Food Security: A Double Up Food Bucks pilot that will bring SNAP matching dollars for the purchase of local produce is set to launch this spring, benefiting food insecure families but also local farmers and local economy.  The Food Security Workgroup is beginning the process to form a collaborative around education and skill building to promote health eating and food security for the purpose increasing efficiency and effectiveness of existing efforts as well as to identify and fill gaps. Partners include the Asheville Buncombe Food Policy Council and Bountiful Cities (lead organizations), NC Cooperative Extension, Buncombe County Health & Human Services, The French Broad Food Coop, Mother Earth Produce, MAHEC, & YES!  Mountain Wise is a partner for an additional Pilot in Waynesville. Click here for a one-pager on the pilot and CHIP's role. Visit our Food Security Blog for more about our workgroup activities.
  • Safe & Accessible Transportation - The initial Open Streets Asheville was a huge success with 1500 joining us in the streets to play, be active, and learn about organizations and efforts to make Buncombe County healthier.  Planning for 2017 is getting started with efforts to engage more diverse voices in this process and truly grow Open Streets Asheville into a tool for community-building and furthering the result of Safe and Accessible Transportation for all.  The workgroup was very involved in efforts to educate and inform the community about the Asheville Bond referendum.  The Bond measure passed by a wide margin which will bring significant dollars for transportation and recreation infrastructure.  
  • Diabetes: Clinical efforts to engage with community and refer to the high quality community-based program is gaining traction. In particular, pharmacist and research collaboration are participating in workgroup efforts. Shared data is beginning to be collected and the Diabetes Workgroup and partners are being integrated into some substantive diabetes grant initiatives.
  • Intimate Partner Violence: The Opening of the Family Justice Center has had a huge impact on our community in supporting woman and families impacted by violence. CHIP staff are now providing leadership in development of an IPV Comprehensive Prevention Plan and are also working with the Family Justice Center to revisit the focus group process that took place before the center opened to assess impact.
  • Infant Mortality: The visit of Dr. Arthur James to Asheville was a powerful event in our community and the workgroup has spent a lot of time learning from the successes in Michigan in reducing health disparities in infant mortality (information from his visit can be found on our Infant Mortality Blog).  A visit to Kalamazoo helped us learn more and a collaboration around home visiting with pregnant or newly parenting women to look at capacity, gaps and how we can better serve our community. An advocacy agenda has also been drafted.  
  • Substance Abuse:   MAHEC's FITSU program is moving forward with efforts to expand the number of primary care providers (especially in rural counties) who dispense suboxone for medically assisted treatment of opioid addiction—which significantly increases success of treatment. Vaya Health is also now convening regional umbrella structure to support and coordinate efforts to combat substance use disorder in its 23-county region.  FITSU and Mission's coalition on substance use in pregnancy are part of this.  
Leadership for the CHIP Advisory has recently engaged in some strategic planning and in the upcoming year we hope to focus more on meaningful ways to engage the many skills, resources and connections of our leadership to move this work forward.

We are excited to introduce our newest team member, Lourdes Lorenz-Miller! Lourdes steps into the role held by Deborah Calhoun before she moved to United Way.  She will be the lead for the Infant Mortality and Substance Abuse priorities.  Visit our CHIP staff page to learn more about Lourdes.

Sincerely,

Deanna, Lourdes and Terri
CHIP Health Improvement Specialists