The following comments were submitted in writing by representatives from partner organizations who attended the meeting.
We encourage individuals with specific concerns to join the work groups that will be formulating goals, objectives, and strategies for each Focus Area in the Health Improvement Plan.
Data for veterans are under-reported. About 21,000 Connecticut residents were not included as veterans in the 2010 Census, because they were still active military. An additional 8,000 persons and 4,500 National Guard are now in the military and are not counted as veterans.
Incarcerated persons have disproportionately higher rates of smoking and other risky behaviors compared to the general population. They are a large population that uses the medical system within the prison system (data for which were not included in the preliminary assessment). A larger population reenters after incarceration and are disproportionately at risk for numerous health conditions and barriers to health care access. It is important to consider the incarcerated population in the Assessment.
Health Care Utilization and Data
We need to have access to trends and patterns (overuse and underuse), like what is in the Dartmouth Atlas. [Certain aspects of utilization are covered in Connecticut’s Statewide Health Care Facilities and Services Plan (October, 2012).]
Healthcare Associated Infections
With an aging population, there is a need to expand facility reporting of healthcare associated infections (HAIs) by hospitals, nursing homes, etc.
Disparities in Educational Attainment
It may be valuable to add high school graduation rates to the list of indicators as a determinant of health. Although Connecticut has an overall high graduation rate, there may be disparities, racially/ethnically and by community.
Housing stability should be integrated with health care (hospitals tracking housing status, healthy homes including housing stability as a measurable outcome). Other efforts exist in the state to integrate health care and housing and could work with this coalition.