Agencies discuss progress on Community and Health Priorities
JULY 5, 2017
McHenry County Department of Health
2200 N Seminary Avenue, Woodstock IL
Contact Keri Zaleski 815-334-4456; cell 815-236-3238
WOODSTOCK IL – Recently, McHenry County Department of Health (MCDH) came together with numerous other agencies serving County residents. Convening at the 9th annual Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships (MAPP) meeting, the gathering’s purpose was for members to discuss the progress made on improving McHenry County community and health priorities, as well as outlining the roadmap for the future.
Following a “you speak, we’ll listen” design, residents were asked last summer what community & health priorities need improvement in McHenry County. The data resulting from the Healthy Community Study provided agencies with information to work on impacting the priorities identified. Priorities are grouped into 3 areas: physical health; mental health and community issues.
Alongside cancer, people said that cardiovascular disease, diabetes and obesity were physical health priorities. In the area of mental health, residents expressed concern about the difficulty in accessing care, alcohol and substance abuse, and the number of suicides or attempted suicides. Community priorities included public transportation and affordable housing.
According to Meaghan Haak, who spearheads the Health Department involvement in MAPP efforts, “Knowing what issues people see as most important is the tip of the ice berg. MAPP groups have been and will continue working on each issue identified – with the goal of making McHenry County an even better place to call home.”
A few examples of how MAPP work groups are already impacting our community include:
A health screening program called “First Wednesday Wellness”, making it easy, quick and low-cost to get results of health indicators such as blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure.
Offering “QPR” training to workers and volunteers of schools, law enforcement agencies, churches, etc. Standing for “question, persuade, refer”, QPR is a nationally recognized tool used to help gauge suicidal thoughts. Hillary Konczal, Chief Safety & Environmental Officer for Metra Commuter Rail, who spoke at the MAPP Annual Meeting, shared that Metra is in the process of training its employees in the use of QPR.
The first Active Communities Forum was held on June 16th, bringing together key community stakeholders to work on continuing and expanding plans to make communities more walkable and bicycle- friendly throughout McHenry County.
Numerous agencies serving McHenry County residents are instrumental in furthering work on the MAPP priorities identified in the Healthy Community Study. These MAPP work groups are spearheaded by a core team consisting of McHenry County Department of Health, McHenry County Mental Health Board, Advocate Health Care, Centegra Health System and the United Way of Greater McHenry County. More information about last summer’s Healthy Community Study is available on the Health Department website, www.mcdh.info.