Stark County Health department conducts final IPLAN meeting

By John A. Ballentine
[email protected]

Stark County Health Department officials, personnel and Stark County citizens met December 14 at the Toulon Public Library for a third and final IPLAN agenda. IPLAN (Illinois Project for Local Assessment of Needs) is a health assessment and planning process that is conducted every five years.

The purpose of the local health department IPLAN meetings were to discuss, identify and assess the top three or four community needs of health problems. This year, according to a survey result, Stark’s top four areas of needs are: 1. mental health, 2. Poor health behaviors, 3. Aging population needs, and 4. Alcohol and drug abuse.

The Stark County top four areas of needs were scrutinized by the local group who listed risk factors, interventions and strategies as part of a response to those needs identified.
Now that those needs assessments are completed, the information formulated locally on how to deal with the problems will be taken back to the health department. There it will be processed and refined before submission to the Illinois Department of Public Health as a recertification requirement of the Stark County Health Department.

Once recertification is completed, the new plan specifically tailored for Stark County will be implemented. Resources will be inventoried and utilized to create treatments of these health problems facing local individuals.

The community health needs assessment process was guided by a local steering committee. This committee represented Stark County’s system of service providers, social services agencies, civic organizations, and school district administrators. Also there were board of health members, media outlets and health department staff.

The initiative included a community health needs survey, evaluation of population health data and an assessment of the local community health system.

Additionally, a determination of Stark County’s resources to improve community health and an appraisal of future factors likely to affect the community’s health occurred.

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