County seeks input on community health needs

WOOD RIVER – The Madison County Health Department is seeking community input for its health needs assessment plan.

By law, the health department must conduct a community health needs assessment every five years to understand the health and wellness strengths and needs of communities across the county.

“The process is an active engagement of health professionals, community agencies and organizations, educators, citizens and health service personnel,” said Director of Public Health Toni Corona. “Due to our response during COVID, we have been delayed in completing the evaluation plan.”

Corona said the Illinois Department of Public Health granted an extension to the county’s assessment plan, which is part of the Illinois Local Assessment Project (IPLAN).

“IPLAN is rooted in essential public health functions and meets public health practice standards,” Corona said. “This is the health department’s strategic plan for the next five years.”

She said health priorities are determined as a result of the assessment process and the county’s community health system would use the results to guide program development to address health issues. Each priority area includes at least one outcome goal, one impact goal, and strategies to support the achievement of results over the next five years.

The health priorities for 2016 to 2021 were obesity, mental health, substance abuse and air quality.

“We need public health to complete the assessment,” Corona said. “Working with our local health care providers is a great way to pool resources and target health issues that need improvement; however, we want to know what really matters to each person whose life we ​​can impact.

Residents are encouraged to visit and answer the survey. The deadline is April 8.

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