Saturday, February 23, 2019
Community-Wide Efforts
During the months of June and July 2015, Washington County Public Health partnered with over 40 organizations and community members to conduct the Washington County Community Health Needs Assessment. During a series of three meetings, a wide variety of health-related topics were discussed including healthy lifestyles, disease prevention, injury prevention, mental health care, and environmental health. At the conclusion of the third meeting, the community members voted on the top three health priorities on which to focus for the next five years. The top three priorities selected are: 

  • Mental Health
  • Physical Activity Throughout Life
  • Access to Healthy Foods

Mental Health Coalition
During the community discussions, strengths in Washington County related to mental health were identified and include a new, recently-opened drop-in support center, the local ER staffed with mental health professionals, and an overall support from the community for mental health services.  

The Mental Health Coalition meets monthly and members include school staff, law enforcement, mental health professionals, local public health staff, and local hospital administrative staff. 

Projects underway or completed include the Resource Guide, developing an application for the Resource Guide, decreasing stigma associated with mental illness, strengthening partnerships with the local schools, and educating parents/community regarding the impact of ACES (Adverse Childhood Experiences).

To view Resource Guide click here 

Wellness Commission
The goals of the Wellness Commission are to focus on both access to healthy foods and physical activity throughout the lifespan.  The commission spent a year investigating evidence-based projects that have shown success and inviting guest speakers to explain new community-based projects.  Working with partners at Iowa State University Extension, the commission is now ready to assist with implementing several new and innovative projects.