In July, 2013 the Prince William Health District was awarded a Potomac Health Foundation grant to implement strategies to reduce breast cancer mortality. During the first year of the grant, the B.E.A.T Cancer Coalition was convened and tasked with conducting a needs assessment in order to establish implementation strategies to address identified priority breast health needs in the community. This gap analysis has attempted to briefly address the myriad and complex factors affecting the underserved / underinsured women of the Prince William Health District. These factors include access to healthcare, psychosocial factors (fear, denial, mistrust) and socioeconomic factors (transportation, childcare, food and nutrition). The Coalition has begun its second year of work and will soon finalize a resource guide to help the community as well as healthcare providers locate various needed services related to breast care.
The 2013 Greater Prince William Area (GPWA) Community Health Assessment presents a detailed picture of public health through review of results from a Health Check survey of GPWA residents; input from community partners and stakeholders; data from local, state and national sources; and existing community assets and resources. This assessment will help to guide the GPWA’s health improvement efforts, including development of a Community Health Improvement Plan to address identified priority public health issues. Additionally, the assessment report is intended to aid community organizations that contribute to the local public health system, and whose work impacts public health issues, by providing them with concrete data about health topics that are important to our community.
Greater Prince William Area Community Health Improvement Plan
Following release of the 2013 Greater Prince William Area (GPWA) Community Health Assessment, further input was sought from community partners and the public to prioritize the health issues that had been identified by the assessment. By a consistent majority, participants of these discussions selected mental health and obesity as priority public health issues for the GPWA.
Two groups of relevant community partners were assembled to discuss the potential for collaborative efforts addressing mental health and obesity. Through subsequent partner meetings, these two priority areas were further narrowed to focus on youth emotional well-being and childhood obesity. A community-wide plan was developed to address these focus areas.
The overarching goals of this GPWA Community Health Improvement Plan are:
As a companion document to the GPWA Community Health Assessment, the GPWA Community Health Improvement Plan provides a framework for organized community efforts to address youth emotional well-being and childhood obesity and to monitor progress towards meeting the Plan’s stated goals and objectives.
Over a five-year period, from 2014 to 2019, members of the Youth Emotional Well-being and Childhood Obesity initiatives will work towards implementation of defined strategies and action steps. Collaboration has been and continues to be essential to make meaningful improvements in these two areas and will require ongoing engagement by all relevant community partners and stakeholders as well as broad community support. Community members are encouraged to become involved in these efforts so that, together, we can create a healthier Greater Prince William Area.
For more information, or to participate in the implementation of the GPWA Community Health Improvement Plan, please call 703-792-6648.