Over the past year and a half, the Lake County Health Department/Community Health Center has been working with a number of local health system partners to facilitate a comprehensive community health assessment and improvement plan for the overall health of Lake County. Called MAPP (Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships), this assessment and improvement plan was recently reviewed and approved by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH).
"The MAPP vision for Lake County is achieving the highest level of health for all in Lake County," said the Health Department's Executive Director Irene Pierce. "I am excited about this plan because it brings together many organizations and groups to work together toward improving the health of our county. By working together on specific goals we can have a substantially greater impact than by working alone."
The plan includes strategic priorities for the next four to five years for Lake County:
• Reduction of Health Disparities/Increase in Health Equity
• Adequate and Diverse Public Health System Workforce
• Prevention/Access to Prevention and Wellness
• Coordination of Care: Access to a Medical Home and Behavioral Health
• Coordinated Network of Health and Human Services
This community driven process was led by a steering committee representing many organizations and agencies throughout Lake County, including:
• Healthcare Foundation of Northern Lake County
• Lake County Community Foundation
• Youth Build Lake County
• Lake County Regional Office of Education
• Lake County Forest Preserve District
• Rosalind Franklin University of Medicine and Science
• Sierra Club
• Mano a Mano Family Resource Center
• Lake County Audubon Society
• Northwestern Lake Forest Hospital
• Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital
• Abbott Laboratories
• Lake County United
• Voices for Illinois Children
The Steering Committee facilitated extensive planning, community partnership development, visioning, and assessment. Several MAPP assessments served as a guide to better understanding the health and quality of life of the people of Lake County. The assessments were completed with extensive community partnership and input. The results of the assessments have been recorded in four assessment reports. These reports can be found on the Lake County MAPP web page at: http://www.lakecountyil.gov/Health/Pages/MAPP%20Project.aspx.
After the assessments were completed and the reports were all reviewed and discussed by the steering committee, strategic issues were identified through a data driven approach, identifying cross cutting themes across the assessments. Goals and strategies to address each of these strategic priorities were recorded in the Lake County IPLAN (Illinois Project for the Local Assessment of Needs), which is the plan that was recently approved by IDPH.
The next stages for the plan are implementation, evaluation/assessment, and ongoing planning. The steering committee is helping to facilitate a community by community approach, where the high level strategic priorities will be addressed on local levels with local communities throughout Lake County. This will continue to be a community driven process, as more and more community members and organizations advance their collective work. The MAPP steering committee will continue to provide focus and follow up to the ongoing work, as well as to assure that efforts moving forward are in alignment with the strategic health plan for Lake County.