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posted: 8/4/2014 4:49 PM

'Impact DuPage' strives to advance our well-being

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Dave Hass

In the midst of health care reform, state and federal fiscal crises, and an increased demand for services, DuPage County partners are cognizant of the need to advance collaborative efforts to address community needs in relation to health and human services.

In August, 2013, a group of community leaders formed "Impact DuPage," a county-wide initiative that will challenge partners to consider the power of a collective impact approach to influence "needle-moving" change under these circumstances.

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Candace King, Impact DuPage Co-Chair and Executive Director of the DuPage Federation on Human Services Reform, commented, "Impact DuPage is committed to creating a common understanding of community needs, gaps and priorities that will advance the well-being of the DuPage County community."

To achieve this, Impact DuPage will engage existing stakeholder networks in a coordinated approach to ongoing community needs assessment, resulting in data-driven solutions to address county priorities, align resources, and improve population level outcomes. The end result of Impact DuPage will be the development and implementation of an interactive county-wide improvement plan.

Impact DuPage has established the following goals: increase the visibility of community needs; anticipate and manage change through centralized data collection and analysis; engage the community and create broad, multi-sectoral ownership for issues impacting DuPage County residents; leverage local funding to strategically and collaboratively address priorities; and, inform and define the legislative agenda.

Impact DuPage goals were created with the intention of building on previous collaborative successes and lessons learned. "With the growing trend for organizations to provide better care, improve client outcomes, and maximize resources, the timing is right to implement processes that will foster a common understanding of community needs and better align resources with county priorities," said Karen Ayala, Impact DuPage Co-Chair and Executive Director of the DuPage County Health Department.

Through Impact DuPage, organizations across DuPage County will have the opportunity to participate in shared measurement of community needs and collectively evaluate outcome measures related to county priorities.

Between August and November, 2014, Impact DuPage partners will be engaging DuPage County residents and service providers in several assessment activities to determine community needs and the strengths and gaps in the current health/human service delivery systems.

Impact DuPage is co-led by the DuPage County Health Department and the DuPage Federation on Human Services Reform. Additionally, the following organizations are represented on the Impact DuPage Steering Committee: Cadence Health, United Way of DuPage and Western Cook County, DuPage Community Foundation, DuPage Health Coalition, DuPage County Community Services, People's Resource Center, DuPage PADs, and Northern Illinois University.

For more information about Impact DuPage, please contact Sarah Troll, Population Health Coordinator, DuPage County Health Department, at Sarah.Troll@dupagehealth.org.

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