HealthThe Putnam Examiner

Putnam Health Dept. Releases Community Health Assessment

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The Putnam County Department of Health recently announced the release of the 2022-2024 Community Health Assessment and Community Health Improvement Plan.

The 49-page document, known as the “CHA” and the “CHIP,” is the culmination of a yearlong effort to comprehensively describe the health status of the county and then develop a collaborative plan to address identified health issues. Nearly 100 community organizations and agencies supported this effort by promoting a regional survey and helping to identify feasible, evidence-based interventions that might be developed or enhanced to improve residents’ health.

“The information within these documents is timely for my administration and the residents of Putnam,” said Putnam County Executive Kevin Byrne. “The data provided highlight the greatest health challenges our county currently faces, and we plan to utilize this information as we further assess the various needs of the community.”

The CHA portion of the report presents a demographic summary of the population, its main health challenges, and resources that can be mobilized to address these issues. Based on the findings of multiple assessments, a list of the 10 main health challenges were identified in Putnam: Early childhood vaccinations; emerging infectious diseases (including COVID); harmful algal blooms or HABs; mental health and well-being; obesity; opioid misuse; racial and ethnic disparities in birth-related indicators; sexually transmitted diseases; tickborne diseases; and transportation, a social determinant of health.

The CHIP portion of the report describes how community partners worked with the Health Department to distill two areas to target for intervention that line up with the New York State Department of Health Prevention Agenda priorities from the list of Putnam’s 10 top health issues.

“Advancing the community’s health requires the dedication and commitment of many partners,” said Michael J. Nesheiwat, MD, Interim Commissioner of Health, upon the release of the report. “Even in times of stability, this is a substantial undertaking. The past few years have tested and taught us all, but we have come together with renewed strength, and renewed commitment to reducing all health inequities among our residents.”

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