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.
Deanna, Lourdes and Terri
CHIP Health Improvement Specialists