Using passion, policy and partnerships to build a healthier Missouri
Missouri's public health professionals passionately desire to help people of all ages, to care for families and to improve population health. Even when their work isn't visible, these public health experts are the very heartbeat of Missouri and core "gears" in the public health system.
Policies help protect the health of all Missourians. Communicable disease control, environmental public health and injury prevention depend on strong policies. Policies around housing, transportation and other community issues also affect public health. #HealthierMO offers leadership and resources to support communities collaboratively developing policies focused on preventing disease and creating a culture of health.
Alone, public health cannot create environments where all Missourians have the fair opportunity to choose a healthier life. But with strong, innovative partnerships, added energy can support public health leaders and power changes that build economically healthy, resilient communities and healthier Missourians.
Successful, sustainable public health system transformation requires long-term commitment and investment in a multi-year process. The #HealthierMO initiative works to engage public health stakeholders at all levels of Missouri's public health system in creating strategic, system-wide changes that will be sustainable over time.
Missouri's public health system is complex. Years of data collection and strategic planning laid the groundwork for the launch of the #HealthierMO transformation initiative in late 2017. Ongoing strategic planning assures a fluid, organic process, responsive to stakeholders and the changing face of public health and the environment.
A grassroots initiative depends on active participation from every level of Missouri's public health system. The initiative seeks to grow engagement in the transformation process through two-way communication, information sharing and ongoing dialogue.
Transforming Missouri's complex public health system will be a long-term process that requires ongoing commitment from public health stakeholders, partnership building with Missouri's professional organizations focused on public health and other partners, and foundational systems change groundwork.
Across Missouri, local public health agencies offer strong leadership to address unique public health needs in their communities. Their innovative partnerships and creative solutions embody the #HealthierMO initiative's vision of providing every Missourian the fair opportunity for a healthier life. Their stories demonstrate the urgent need to transform Missouri's public health system into a stronger, more sustainabile, culturally relevant and responsive system that can better meet the needs of Missouri's diverse communities and provide the supportive framework these local public health agencies need to succeed.
Unique local programs enable people to live in their own homes longer as they age. Find out why Cora and Nan are thankful for the public health services they receive and the public health professionals who provide care.
As Chief Health Strategist for their community, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department collected data, aligned partners and shared information on the need to adopt tighter restrictions for tobacco sales. Their efforts resulted in successful passage of a Tobacco 21 policy.
When her dad suffered a stroke, the need for nearby physical therapy resources became personal for local public health administrator Pam Allen. She knew she had to take action! Today Dade County residents gather at their own Live Well Health and Fitness Center for exercise, education and community.
With a crushing phone call, local public health administrator Paige Behm learned health care services for women in her community were closing. Her desperate plea for help led to a new partnership and expanded programming for women with reduced cost.
A brand new mother, 20 years old, jobless, abandoned by her baby's father, reached out to public health nurse Wanda Kessell for help. Through the Nurse Family Partnership program at the Kansas City Health Department, Wanda helps meet this young mother's needs and becomes 'part of the family.'
A strategic approach to locating new funding sources nets rural Hickory County a brand new health department, fitness center and Farmer's Market complex. Local public health administrator Dawn Vader is already reaching higher. The sky's the limit for her innovative creativity.
The journey from frozen yogurt franchise manager to public health food inspector leads young professional Brandy Sheehan to discover how two disciplines that seem to be at odds can work together to ensure a healthier Missouri.
Rebecca ensures a truck loaded with farm-fresh fruits and vegetables rolls into central Missouri neighborhoods each week to offer residents locally grown fresh produce. The mobile market supports the local economy and offers rural Missourians in this food desert a fair opportunity to make healthier food choices.
Young professionals graduating from Missouri's universities are ready to hit the ground running, but is Missouri's public health system prepared to receive them. Three young public health professionals share their visions for stronger public health recruiting and career laddering processes.
Fourteen local public health agencies embrace an audacious transition to electronic health records to modernize and streamline public health processes. Their goals are greater efficiency, improved accuracy, cost savings and increased income. The journey won't be easy, but the multi-county collaboration demonstrates the spirit of local public health in southeast Missouri.
Life isn't always easy, especially when you work in local public health. Limited resources, staff shortages, increasing demand for services — you've got to know where and who to reach out to for help. A unique multi-county collaboration among nine southcentral Missouri counties makes each local public health agency stronger and improves public health service delivery to Missourians.
Although the number of local public health agencies providing home health services has slowly declined, residents in Johnson and Montgomery Counties receive award-winning home health services from their health departments. These two agencies are meeting local needs by increasing access to care, reducing health disparities and integrating health care with public health systems.
Cheryl no longer fears staff vacations or illness - help is a phone call away. As part of a unique staff sharing agreement, participating health departments can assure uninterrupted public health service delivery for their communities, benefit from more experienced staff and share human resource costs. Experienced public health professionals can find full-time, good paying jobs in their rural communities. The partnership is a win-win for everyone.
Four local public health agencies pursue voluntary public health accreditation in Missouri under new standards from the Missouri Institute for Community Health. Funding from Missouri Department of Health supports the agencies through the process, and the health departments say the journey was worth the reward.
As a grassroots initiative, #HealthierMO depends on involvement from public health stakeholders across Missouri. From front line staff to mid-level managers to leadership, every voice matters! Missouri's public health professionals weigh in on transformation.
We have to do a better job of living out the philosophy that quality of life is our unmovable driver and sell that to people.
I believe I am making a difference in the health of our community, and that is important to me.
I work in public health because I want to help people be the best they can be . . . it's about getting them to where they want to be and hopefully being happier/healthier in the process.
Public health protects everyone, promotes health equity for all. We can be the difference in keeping people from needing high cost medical care later, can impact the trajectory of people's health over their life span.
We have to do a better job of building bridges at the local level to explain our importance and achieve the role of chief health strategist.
Outside of our day job there are opportunities for people to give back, and in that, be an ambassador for public health.
When I was working in the hospital, I was pulling people out of the river with critical issues. Now, I am keeping them from falling into the river using education and prevention.
Public health is about servant leadership - I get to do a job I was trained for and educated about to help people.
Public health needs to be tied together better with a culture of unity to better work together and make a difference.
I try to think of the people I help [in public health] as a mother, father, a grandfather.
If you're not happy in your position, you're not going to want to come to do your job. Be passionate. Be excited. Try to solve this.
I am hoping that what I do here helps new families feel like we are protecting their safety.
I look at public health as we are here to help you. We are not looking at dollars. We are here to help you get what you need.
The value I thought I was bringing to public health is being diluted by multiple levels of management. We ultimately make the change, so allow us to make a difference.
My core values are affected mainly by my faith belief system. Those values make me want to be the hands and feet to deliver service to others - to show compassion to clients.
Public health is big picture health care. It is not about one patient or client; it is about all patients and all clients all of the time.
I think a lot of us went into public health for the same reasons [as teachers] - to make a difference in lives.
Because everyone has or should have equal opportunities for health, there needs to be recognition that disparities and inequities exist that may require different approaches.
Try! Try! Try! Don't give up on these complex issues [public health challenges] just because they are difficult.
I think as public health people, we can be the leaders for bringing about progressive change in Missouri, but our system doesn't always reflect that.
Public health should be seen as a top priority within the state. The more attention there is to public health, the better off we'll be when it comes to the economy, education and the environment.
System-wide transformation depends on a combination of tactical and strategic changes. Tactical, or project level changes, involve decisions by organizations who control infrastructure and assets. Strategic changes involve policy level decisions by regulators and policymakers. Policy plays an important role in pursuing community health goals. Policies around housing, transportation, education and other sectors can have a profound impact on public health. Policy development is an art and a science that depends on active engagement from representatives of broad and diverse sectors sharing a common vision. The #HealthierMO initiative provides that common vision for stakeholders across Missouri. The initiative works with its partners to identify gaps in Missouri's public health system and facilitates discussion around developing polices that will strengthen the public health system and create a healthier Missouri.
The Public Health 3.0 model calls for public health agencies to be a catalyst for change in their communities, leaders at convening partners with whom they can collaborate to create environments in which everyone can choose healthier lives. Effective partnerships require broad invitations, creative strategizing and honest trust-building, all while moving toward a shared vision. The #HealthierMO initiative convenes partners and facilitates collaboration toward collective impact on Missouri's public health system.
Representatives from Missouri's professional organizations focused on public health are working together to achieve collective impact. They are uniting their voices around public health issues, supporting workforce development opportunities and working to create a stronger public health system. Representatives contribute unique organizational perspective and expertise while aligning for the benefit of public health in Missouri. Meeetings are facilitated by the #HealthierMO initiative.
"Stronger together than we are individually" — this workgroup recognizes the need for collaborating and speaking with a unified voice when engaging policymakers. . . . more
Strategically planning for multi-organizational alignment — this workgroup intentionally designs an effective structure that will effectively achieve collective impact. . . . more
Creating pathways for dialogue — this workgroup assures an efficient two-way exchange of information for both internal and external audiences. . . . more