Danbury Healthy 2000
Danbury Hospital initiated this effort in the fall of 1994 to enhance existing collaborative efforts among the community agencies and providers to develop new links and partnerships with untapped agencies. The goal of this effort is to increase the span of a healthy life, reduce health disparities, and increase access to preventive services. The Danbury Health and Housing Department has developed a directory of the social service and health care providers that serve the residents of Danbury.
Greater New Haven Partnership for a Healthy Community
The Greater New Haven Partnership for a Healthy Community serves to improve the health status in 9 communities: New Haven, East Haven, West Haven, North Haven, Hamden, North Branford, Orange, Woodbridge, and Bethany. The Partnership is a collaboration of representatives from various health and community agencies, such as the Community Action Agency, Community Foundation for Greater New Haven, Fair Haven and Hill Health Community Health Centers, St Raphael Healthcare System, Yale-New Haven Hospital, New Haven DOH, United Way of Greater New Haven, Visions for a Greater New Haven, Yale University School of Medicine Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, and the Yale University School of Public Health Urban Health Program The Partnership has identified the following priority community issues: youth challenges; lifestyle and disease prevention/control; and access to health and social services.
Hartford Community Health Partnership
The Hartford Community Health Partnership was created in 1995 to address a variety of critical urban health issues facing the city’s residents. The Hartford Health Department, then newly reorganized according to the principles of public health as promoted by the Institute of Medicine, worked to assess and to prioritize the most critical threats to health in Hartford. Diabetes, asthma, and behavioral health issues were identified quickly as areas of primary concern.
The Hartford Health Department entered into a collaborative partnership with Hartford Hospital, Saint Francis Hospital and Medical Center, the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center, the UCONN School of Medicine, the Hispanic Health Council, the Urban League of Greater Hartford, the United Way of the Capitol Area, the American Diabetes Association, the Connecticut Department of Public Health, and Qualidigm. The mission of the Community Health Partnership was declared to be the improvement of the health of all of Hartford’s residents via the core functions of public health: assessment, assurance, and policy development.
In 1997, the Community Health Partnership conducted the first Hartford Health Survey, a citywide data collection effort that led to the development of several data-driven partnership initiatives. The first of these projects, the 1998 Hartford Diabetes Call To Action, the subsequent 1999 Asthma Call To Action, and the Behavioral Health Call To Action focused on the substantial assets of the Partners on well-planned, comprehensive attacks on these major urban crises. Also in 1999, the first Hartford Homeless Health Survey produced dramatic evidence of the disparities in health care among Hartford’s homeless population.
The final data analysis produced from the 2000 Hartford Health Survey is under way. Comparison of data between the 1997 Survey and the 2000 Survey will enable effective outcomes measures of the Diabetes and Asthma Calls To Action and other Partnership-generated initiatives. New data from the 2000 version regarding behavioral health issues may be expected to produce additional Calls to Action by the Public Health Advisory Council and the Director of Health.
Healthy Living 2000
Healthy Living 2000 began in 1994 in the city of Greenwich with collaboration between the Greenwich Hospital and Department of Health. A community survey showed the community priorities as alcohol abuse; high cholesterol; hypertension; life dissatisfaction; overweight; and unintentional injuries.
Healthy Meriden 2000
Healthy Meriden 2000 was founded in 1994 as a community-based initiative focused on improving health and quality of life. A wide range of issues has been identified through a community needs assessment process: elderly, youth, healthy lifestyles, public safety, access to health care, addiction prevention, HIV/AIDS, and multicultural wellness. Hundreds of volunteers, representing health and social service agencies, government, businesses, and faith communities, have developed and implemented strategies and interventions to address these issues and measure outcomes.
By working to measurably improve the health status of Meriden’s citizens, these volunteers have implemented projects that have improved quality of life. Healthy Meriden’s collaborative partners, including the Meriden Department of Health and Human Services, MidState Medical Center, Chamber of Commerce, Children First Initiative, Clergy Association, and city and state legislators are coordinating a vibrant process.
- Seniors have received information on reducing the risk of scams, linking to mental health services due to depression caused by abuse, increasing safety within their homes, and how to stay safe; a focus has been developed on increasing communication to frail, homebound elderly during emergency situations;
- Youth have participated in programs designed to reduce adolescent pregnancy, increase retention in school and focusing on career and life choices;
- Healthy lifestyle choices and behavior modification have been focused on reducing the risk of heart disease, cancer, and diabetes. Reducing head injuries due to bicycle accidents by encouraging youngsters to wear helmets.
- A focus on multicultural wellness has established a bilingual newsletter and special focus on Hispanic and African American women.
- Focus on HIV/AIDS has been targeted toward reducing the risk of infection—the AIDS quilt has been displayed; local quilt panels developed by families and sent to be part of the national NAMES quilt. An annual vigil has kept AIDS in the minds of the public.
- Access to health care issues has allowed more information dissemination regarding Medicare choice and HUSKY enrollment.
- Addiction prevention activities have focused on alcohol, controlled substances, tobacco, and gambling. Focus on prevention has been directed toward younger populations.
Healthy New London
Healthy New London was formed in 1996 through collaboration between the New London Department of Health and Social Services and the Lawrence and Memorial Hospital. In 1997, a comprehensive health profile of New London was completed and identified many critical health issues in need of action. At a public forum in late 1997, citizens selected 4 issue areas to initially address: teen pregnancy, substance abuse, breast cancer, and sexually transmitted diseases. Significant accomplishments have been made or are in progress in each of these issue areas.
A 27-member advisory board representing New London's diverse constituencies was formed to develop a definition of a healthy community and to identify an action plan for the next three years. The advisory board includes representatives from health agencies, faith communities, public officials, and education and medical professionals. The community profile was updated in 2000 and public input will be sought through a comprehensive outreach effort beginning in early 2001 to determine what new issue areas will be addressed.
Healthy Valley 2000
Healthy Valley 2000 is a community-wide effort aimed at improving the health and quality of life of residents and the community by making the six-town Naugatuck River Valley a better place to live, work, raise a family, and enjoy life. Griffin Hospital took a leadership role in 1993 to coordinate a stakeholder group of, currently, over 200 community members. Underlying the mission is a commitment to maintain Valley unity through regional cooperation; work to enhance community image and pride; better utilize the Valley's unique resources, especially its two major rivers; and to embrace cultural diversity. Healthy Valley 2000 has selected 6 "Key Performance Areas" (KPAs) to focus on: Arts & Recreation, Economic Development, Community Involvement, Health, Education and Youth / America's Promise. In addition, an Electronic Valley team has created an Internet information and communications system to link together all segments of the Valley community at www.electronicvalley.org. The success of the project continues as the Naugatuck River Valley was named one of the ten All-America Cities by the National Civic League in June, 2000 and as a Point of Light in December, 1999.
Bridgeport Health Improvement Partnership (BHIP)
The City of Bridgeport’s Health Improvement Partnership was formed in 1999 with the merger of two sub-city healthy community initiatives: the Neighborhood Health Improvement Partnership and the Southern Health Improvement Partnership. The BHIP involves over 50 community agency members that work to improve the well-being of the city residents through education of healthy choices and the promotion of living healthier and longer. The Coordinating Committee represents health care providers, consumers, legislators, policy makers, law enforcement officials, and major employers. Bridgeport Hospital is the primary health care provider and serves as staff for this effort. The Committee, with input from the community, has identified four areas to focus on with special task forces identifying the problems and determining the best way to address them. The four areas are: substance abuse and mental health, teenage pregnancy and parenting, access to health care, and economic development.
Northeast District Department of Health "Building Healthier Communities"
In the northeast corner of Connecticut there are twelve rural communities served by one health district. The Northeast District Department of Health (NDDH) serves the public health needs of: Ashford, Brooklyn, Canterbury, Eastford, Hampton, Killingly, Plainfield, Pomfret, Putnam, Sterling, Thompson, and Woodstock. The NDDH advisory committee was established in 1994 as the Community Health Coordinating Council, and is represented by health, social services, and provider organizations within the district. The Council held the District to fulfill two core public health functions: monitoring the health status of the population, and leading the development of health policy and planning.
In 1995 the Northeast District Department of Health (NDDH) and the Community Health Coordinating Council began to address the public health vision of "healthier communities." District priorities include smoking, particularly among teens and pregnant women. In June 1996, the NDDH, for the Coordinating Council, published "Health Highlights: Selected Health Status Indicators and Objectives for Northeastern Connecticut" which compared district health status data with state and national data and Healthy People 2000 target objectives. For many variables, the residents of this District fared better than the state and met year 2000 objectives. In three specific areas, the District identified a need for additional attention: teenage pregnancy, alcohol and drug use (particularly involved in motor vehicle fatalities), and violence and abusive behavior. It is important to note that these areas were identified as priorities in nearly every community throughout the state, both rural and urban.
Stratford’s Building a Healthy Community"
The Stratford Health Advisory Council was established in 1994 as a result of a Youth and Family Advisory Board study that called for a permanent advisory group to provide continual and intensified focus on local health issues. The Stratford Health Department assumed the leadership role among the members representing health, business, education, social service, and community sectors in town. The Council, with input from the community, selected seven health related priority areas: cancer, heart disease, maternal and child health, mental and emotional health, youth risk behaviors, substance abuse, and diet. The Council is focusing on heart disease and cancer for its initial community health action plan that emphasizes reducing tobacco and alcohol negative outcomes, increasing medical screening services, promoting fitness and nutrition.
For further information about healthy communities in Connecticut, please contact the State Network representative:
860-509 7160 (fax)