Healthy Connecticut 2020 provides vision for state’s health and common framework for health improvement; Public invited to comment on plan
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Connecticut Department of Public Health
March 25, 2014 Contact: William Gerrish
Hartford – The Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH) today announced Healthy Connecticut 2020, a statewide health assessment and plan for improving the health of all Connecticut residents in the current decade.
Joined by Lt. Governor Nancy Wyman, and Dr. Paul Jarris, Executive Director of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, DPH Commissioner Dr. Jewel Mullen formally presented the state health assessment and plan today before over 150 members of the Connecticut Health Improvement Planning Coalition at the Crowne Plaza in Cromwell.
“Healthy Connecticut 2020 is a ‘Call to Action’ to address current and emerging health issues that most affect the health and well-being of our residents,” said Dr. Mullen. “It provides a roadmap for improving the state’s health and ensuring that all people in Connecticut have the opportunity to attain their highest potential for health.”
“Connecticut is fortunate to be leading the nation in the implementation of the Affordable Care Act, gaining affordable health care for more than 160,000 citizens. This is a major step, but as the assessment points out, we still have a way to go to improve overall health outcomes in our state,” said Governor Dannel P. Malloy. “We should heed this ‘Call to Action’ to continue moving in the right direction. I would also urge the legislature to act on proposals this session that will continue our efforts by improving mental health services and banning the sale of electronic cigarettes to minors.”
“Healthy citizens mean better schools, a stronger workforce, and a higher quality of life overall,” said Lt. Governor Wyman. “Our health care exchange, Access Health CT, is a national leader in providing affordable, quality health insurance to residents—a very good first step in promoting good health and well-being, but there is more we can do. Healthy Connecticut 2020 is another step to address the health of our residents, health equity, and disease prevention. I want to thank Commissioner Mullen for her leadership, and the Coalition members for their commitment to ensuring our citizens can live healthy, productive lives.”
The assessment contains good news for Connecticut, but also presents important challenges. “While Connecticut meets or exceeds many national targets for health status and risk factors, many of our residents are dying prematurely from chronic diseases and injuries,” Dr. Mullen said. “Profound disparities in health exist among certain demographic and socioeconomic groups and even adjacent towns.”
The plan, which is based up on the findings of the assessment, provides a blueprint for collective action among a wide array of partners to address some of Connecticut’s most challenging health issues, including obesity, tobacco use, high blood pressure, falls, poor birth outcomes, and prescription drug misuse. It provides a common framework for organizations to use in leveraging resources, engaging partners, and identifying their own priorities and strategies for collective action.
The coalition, a body of experts from government agencies, local health departments, educational institutions, community organizations, health care facilities, and businesses from across Connecticut, developed the assessment and plan through a planning process led by DPH over the past several months.
Dr. Mullen thanked the coalition members for their contributions to this process, and stressed the importance of partnering among organizations as implementation of the plan begins. “Health is a shared responsibility, and it takes the collaboration of many partners from all sectors to address health and improve health outcomes across Connecticut,” she said.
The Healthy Connecticut 2020 State Health Improvement Plan and Assessment is available at www.ct.gov/dph/ship. The public is invited to comment on the plan through April 30, 2014 at: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/HCT2020.