In 2013, the state of New Hampshire published the State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP) 2013-2020, which highlights ten key health areas currently facing the population (tobacco, obesity/diabetes, heart disease/stroke, healthy mothers and babies, cancer prevention, asthma, injury prevention, infectious disease, emergency preparedness, and misuse of alcohol and drugs). Its aim was to assist the state and local community leaders in improving public health and promoting coordination and collaboration among public health partners.
In the fall of 2014, the Public Health Networks, including the Seacoast, were tasked with creating Community Health Improvement Plans (CHIP), by selecting five priority areas from the New Hampshire SHIP. Starting in January of 2015, the Seacoast Public Health Network and its Public Health Advisory Council gathered and reviewed data to inform the selection process, interviewed and involved various community organizations, voted on priorities, and strategically planned the Seacoast CHIP.
The six month process included robust methods for indicator selection: a review of county and regional data to choose priorities, interviews of community stakeholders and partners, and a comprehensive strategic planning session. These methods laid the foundation for the subsequent Seacoast Community Health Improvement Plan, which outlines the region’s six health priorities:
Injury prevention (reducing falls in older adults)
Alcohol and substance misuse
Public health emergency preparedness
This plan will serve as the Seacoast Public Health Network and Public Health Advisory Council’s work plan and deliverables for the next three years (2015-2017). It is the region’s goal that it will serve to promote collaboration by all public health partners in order to improve the health of individuals, the community, and the overall state of New Hampshire.