About the Community Health Action Team Initiative
The Community Health Action Team (CHAT) initiative is a partnership between Franklin County Public Health and community members that works to build healthier communities throughout Franklin County.
How We Start a CHAT
The process begins by bringing together members from all sectors of the community (schools, businesses, faith-based groups, local government, healthcare) to look at the needs of their community and make a plan to address the needs. Healthy People 2020’s MAP-IT process includes five steps that are used as a guide:
Mobilize – Bring together community members.
Assess – Assess needs and assets in the community, and choose areas of focus.
Plan – Create a plan to address areas of focus.
Implement – Implement the plan through systems and a communication plan.
Track – Track progress through regular evaluations and share progress with the community.
Why We Need CHATs
Whether it is the rising rates of heart disease and cancer, or access to medical services; there are many important health issues facing the community. The CHATs help a community identify and address its top health priorities.
Benefits of Establishing a CHAT
Engagement- Ensure community is engaged in Franklin County Public Health’s planning and activities.
Effective Messaging- Team members will be able to shape and guide health messaging.
Strong Partnerships- Strong partnerships between Franklin County Public Health and the community will be important to address various health issues.
Better Understanding- Community members can help Franklin County Public Health gain a greater understanding of their health needs.
The Whitehall CHAT has been meeting since April of 2014 and is currently in the implementation phase. The group decided that access to health care was one of the biggest challenges of the community. Their goal is to increase the number of people in Whitehall with a usual and ongoing source of primary healthcare, starting with a focus on women. So far, the CHAT's activities include recruiting community health workers in Whitehall and designing a campaign to educate the community and raise awareness about primary care. Part of this campaign includes developing a website, www.whitehallwellness.org, and a brochure of available healthcare resources in Whitehall.
The Prairie Township CHAT has been meeting since November of 2014 and is currently in the implementation phase. The goal of this CHAT is to increase physical activity and healthy eating behaviors in the community, focusing on households. Currently the group is partnering with Mid-Ohio Food Bank to plan several community produce markets so that low-income residents can access healthy food.
In order to avoid duplicating efforts, Franklin County Public Health joined an already existing multi-sector community coalition called Community Partners of Southern Franklin County in September of 2014. The group has been meeting since 2002 with the purpose of strengthening the community by maximizing resources. Franklin County Public Health proposed collaborating with the group and adding a community health focus to their projects, which was met with agreement. The health department has been supporting and enhancing their initiatives, such as providing immunizations during back to school events.
The Hilliard CHAT has been meeting since April of 2015 and is currently in the planning phase. The group has chosen to focus on mental health in the community.
Due to their close proximity, stakeholders from the City of Grandview Heights and Village of Marble Cliff have joined together to form a CHAT. They have been meeting since April of 2015 and are currently in the planning phase. Fall prevention for seniors has been selected as their area of focus.
Are you interested in becoming involved in a current CHAT or starting one in your community?
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