Identifying Strategic Issues
Cherra T. Hampton-Mitchell
Phase four of the Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships (MAPP) process provides guidance for identifying strategic issues in the target community (National Association of County & City Health Officials, n.d.). According to the National Association of County & City Health Officials (NACCHO), identifying strategic issues reveals what is important within the community (NACCHO, n.d.). By identifying these issues, strategies can be developed to improve community health (NACCHO, n.d.). The purpose of this research is to identify strategic issues in Petersburg, Virginia.
The Local Public Health System Assessment (LPHSA) reinforced the findings of the CTSA by revealing that Petersburg is doing well with meeting the requirements of the eighth of the Ten Essential Public Health Services. The requirements of the eighth service are to assure a competent public health and personal health care workforce (NACCHO, n.d.). The abundance of affordable healthcare services in and around the city ensures that this requirement is being met. Where Petersburg fails is in the tenth of the Essential Public Health Services, which involves searching for fresh solutions and insights into current health problems (NACCHO, n.d.). Extensive research at the local and state level did not reveal any attempts at meeting this requirement. The healthcare services available have been available for a number of years, yet the overall health of the community remains poor. This is indicative of a need for innovative new solutions to the existing health issues.
The Community Health Status Assessment (CHSA) completed in the first phase of the MAPP process revealed several interesting facts. Petersburg has a large African American population and subsequently suffers from high rates of diseases that care common among African Americans. HIV, chronic Hepatitis C, Chlamydia, Gonorrhea, heart disease, cancer, kidney disease, cerebrovascular disease, septicemia, chronic lower respiratory disease, hypertension, and diabetes (Virginia Department of Health, 2014).
The Forces of Change Assessment (FOCA), identified key forces of change within the community. Petersburg is a small city that suffers from a very high rate of crime. Petersburg’s crime rate can have a negative impact on health.
Analysis of the four assessments reveals that Petersburg is a city greatly in need of community health improvements. Petersburg has a number of healthcare resources, yet the overall health of the community remains poor. This seems to indicate that the available services are being underutilized by residents of the city. How can the public health community improve utilization of the services that are available? Many Petersburg residents are living below the poverty level and that may be causing some difficulty in getting the needed transportation to utilize some of the healthcare services that are offered. The consequences of not addressing the issue are continued underutilization and a continued decline in community health status.
Identifying Priority Health Issues
The Hanlon Method was used to identify the top three priority health issues in the community. Data on the leading causes of death was gathered from the Virginia Department of Health’s 2012 Health Profile of Petersburg, Virginia. Using the prevalence rates from the Health Profile, an affected percentage of the population was calculated. That percentage was then used to assign ratings using the Hanlon Method. The results of the Hanlon Priority Scoring revealed that septicemia,...