Officials plan for community health improvement

By Anna Bolton -

XENIA — Greene County Public Health officials have identified critical health priorities within the community and have set goals to address these issues, including reducing infant mortality, lessening the availability of unused prescription drugs and increasing access to health services.

Officials released the Community Health Assessment and Community Health Improvement Plan Sept. 7.

A Community Health Assessment (CHA) periodically evaluates the needs of the community. It describes the health status of the population, identifies areas for health improvement, determines factors that contribute to health issues, and identifies assets and resources that can be used to address the community’s health improvement. Key issues facing residents were determined to be chronic disease, mental health and substance abuse, maternal and child health and injury prevention.

A CHA has been commissioned by local public health every four years in Greene County since 1995. Moving forward, the CHA will be completed every three years to align with Ohio Department of Health (ODH) requirements.

Community leaders identified eight critical health priorities within Lifestyle and Behavioral Health, Access to Care, and Environmental Health. These health priorities and goals are intended to guide future efforts in the community to address health in Greene County.

The strategic issues within the Lifestyle and Behavioral Health category were infant mortality, substance abuse and lack of good nutrition and physical activity.

Goals set for these are to reduce the rate of infant mortality, particularly in high-risk populations; to promote the mental health and well-being in elementary school children through increasing children’s self-regulation, building internal protective factors and resilience and to reduce the availability of unused prescription drugs in Greene County; and to provide residents with actionable and accessible health information to empower them to make healthful and lasting changes to their diet and exercise routines.

Issues within Access to Care include uninsured and under-insured, residents obtaining health screenings and lack of physicians.

Officials have established goals to increase access, quality, and efficiencies in providing health and social services to the under-served population; to improve knowledge and opportunities for breast and cervical cancer screening; and to increase the number of primary care and specialty physicians in the county.

Environmental Health issues are waste disposal and asthma.

Officials aim to increase awareness of how to properly dispose of waste products such as batteries and electronics and to leverage partnerships and technology to increase awareness and utilization of community resources which provide asthma education.

Residents can review the Community Health Assessment and Community Health Improvement Plan in full at

For more information call 937-374-5600, visit the website at or go to GCPH’s Facebook page.

By Anna Bolton

Contact Anna Bolton at 937-502-4498.

Contact Anna Bolton at 937-502-4498.