Member states were asked to answer the following question:
How are you involving local health departments in your state needs assessment?
Karen Trierweiler, MS, CNM
Director, Center for Healthy Families & Communities
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
Colorado has local health department representation on both the Needs Assessment Steering Committee (responsible for day-to-day management of the needs assessment process) and the Needs Assessment Advisory Committee (a larger stakeholder group responsible for overall direction and feedback.) A list of potential priority areas for each MCH population will be identified from an online survey of stakeholders, including local public health, and a review of quantitative MCH health status measures for Colorado. Local public health staff will subsequently be involved in an online prioritization process to further hone this list to a set of issues for final consideration.
Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (Pictured, left)
Ann Marie Buss
Family and Community Health Bureau (Pictured, right)
In the summer of 2008, maternal and child health (MCH) contacts in Montana’s local health departments (LHDs) participated in teleconferences and a survey about priority health needs and emerging health needs in Montana. LHDs also provided input on the best way to collect population-based information on MCH needs and priorities, especially given the size of the state (145,552 square miles) and the distribution of the population (almost 50% living in rural or frontier areas).
In 2009, LHDs participated in a conference call about MCH data usage and planning and the administration of a capacity survey to community-based MCH organizations. LHDs provided comments and suggestions on the survey and sent lists of contacts in their communities and counties.
Several LHD representatives serve on the Family Health Advisory Council and provide feedback throughout the needs assessment process. In the future, MCH plans to invite the LHDs to participate in focus groups to be held across Montana.