Meigs Health Matters: Marking Progress, CHIP Implementation


By Ian Blache - Special to Times-Sentinel



The Meigs County Health Department and Get Healthy Meigs! have a vision: to improve the overall well-being of Meigs County residents. Quite a lofty goal, you might say. One thing the health department and GHM! use to make sure they are achieving this goal is their Community Health Improvement Plan, or CHIP.

The CHIP is a 70-page document that represents months of work by more than 50 citizens and over 20 organizations in and outside Meigs County. The CHIP came from a long process that also involved a Community Health Assessment, or CHA. More than just acronyms, the CHIP and the CHA are two of the required building blocks to the health department’s state accreditation. They are also tools health departments use to understand the health of their counties and the success of their efforts toward positive change.

The CHIP contains five health priorities that Meigs County residents deemed most important focus areas: Substance Abuse, Maternal and Child Health, Workforce Development, Chronic Illness and Healthy Behaviors. With each, participants developed multiple goals and outcomes, decided on strategies and selected the best methods to measure their progress.

Now that GHM! is nearing the end of its first year of CHIP implementation, it is reviewing some of this progress. The following are a few 2018 accomplishments:

* Tracking tools were implemented to help GHM! execute strategies and assess outcomes

* On July 10, Meigs County Commissioners hosted the Employer Health and Wellness Fair with nursing, dental, and behavioral health services represented

* Completion of the Pedestrian Master Transportation Plan

* Certification of a Meigs County Drug Treatment Court

* Hopewell Health offering Rapid Access program to Meigs County residents for opioid treatment

* Maternal and Child Health devised a new process to help more expectant mothers stop smoking

* GHM! increased outreach to expand awareness of health care options

* In August, the Meigs Community Prevention Coalition held Prevention Day at the Meigs County Fair

* Created a comprehensive Resource Guide listing all health resources serving the county

* Chemical Dependency Counselor Assistant (I and II) program launched by GHM! partner University of Rio Grande to increase relevant workforce

* GHM! members were involved in Access to Care project and HRSA Opioid Planning Grant

* In February, Career Palooza events held for Meigs County grade school and high school students

These and other activities continue from the dedicated people serving on GHM! But as we approach 2019, remember that the vision also includes new members like you!

With further questions, call Michelle at (740) 992-6626 and continue to Get Healthy, Meigs!

By Ian Blache

Special to Times-Sentinel

Ian Blache, Director of Workforce Development and Grants Coordinator at University of Rio Grande, is contracted by the Meigs County Health Dept. for the Meigs County Community Health Improvement Plan.

Ian Blache, Director of Workforce Development and Grants Coordinator at University of Rio Grande, is contracted by the Meigs County Health Dept. for the Meigs County Community Health Improvement Plan.