Health promotion is the process of helping people manage and improve their health. It is focused on supporting individuals by providing direct counseling and education, and by provding health messages and supports in the home, clinic, school, workplace, and community. We help organizations and communities produce health promotion strategies that are focused, responsive, efficient, and effective.
Public Health plays a powerful role in promoting and protecting health. Today’s public health organizations are asked to deliver high quality services in core public health functions while also developing innovative partnerships with health care providers, schools, public housing, social services, local government, and more. Community Health Solutions provides support to help public health agencies meet this challenge.
We can help public health agencies:
- Conduct community health assessments
- Develop community health improvement strategies
- Develop organizational strategic plans
- Create partnerships with health care providers and other community stakeholders
- Support public health professionals through strategic learning institutes.
Recent examples of our work in support of public health include:
- A statewide learning institute to help public health professionals develop community partnerships for health promotion.
- A statewide learning institute to help public health professionals develop interprofessional teamwork skills.
- A statewide study of promising practices for supporting home blood pressure monitoring.
- A regional learning collaborative to help pediatricians optimize early childhood screening and referral.
Healthy homes are critical for health promotion. As a starting point, a healthy home should be environmentally safe in terms of structure, air quality, water quality, absence of toxins, and structural accomodations for resident limitations. In addition, a healthy home should share a culture of health for all residents, especially children and adults with special needs.
We can help community agencies:
- Assess affordability of housing and related indicators such as homelessness and long-term hotel use by individuals and families
- Develop collaborative initiatives to help individuals and families obtain safe and stable housing
- Develop collaborative support programs in which multiple agencies work together to help individuals and families implement positive health practices in their home.
- Evaluate the impact of healthy home initiatives.
Recent examples of our work related to healthy homes include:
- Analysis of housing affordability and indicence of homelessness for a foundation/local government initiative.
- Strategy support for a multi-agency collaborative to create an innovative ‘care team’ model that supports family with coordinated access to human services, housing support, school support, early childhood support, and home health supports including health education and health navigation.
- Strategy support for an innovative program to place community health workers within public housing communities to help residents with health education and connections to medical homes.
Healthy schools can have a powerful impact on health promotion for children as well as the adults who work in school settings. Healthy schools are environmentally safe spaces that protect children from injury and promote physical, mental and emotional health. The challenge lies in accomplishing these health aims in cost-effective fashion through aligned policies, programs, practices, structures, and cultures.
We can help schools and school systems:
- Assess school health needs and identify assets for promoting school health
- Design school health initiatives that promote student health through school supports and school-community partnerships
- Develop capacity for implementing school health strategies including team training and policy/program/practice development
- Support implementation with ongoing performance support
- Evaluate the impact of school health intiatives.
We have recently supported school health initiatives in three public school districts. Initiatives have included one or more the following elements:
- Integrating physical activity into classes outside of physical education
- Healthier cafeteria options, including innovative purchasing models, meal preparation techniques, equipment upgrades, and farm-to-school strategies
- Expansion of health-related after school clubs
- School-community partnerships for healthy eating and active living.
Healthy workplaces support health by protecting and promoting the health of workers and customers. Healthy workplaces meet high standards for environmental safety while also supporting healthy work habits, healthy lifestyles, and positive mental and emotional health.
We can help employers:
- Assess the current state of workplace health supports based on Total Worker Health principles
- Implement low-or-no cost improvements in policies and practices for supporting health within the workplace
- Connect workers to available community supports for health and well being
- Leverage the value of a ‘healthy workplace’ reputation for worker recruitment and retention.
- Evaluate the economic impact of employee health interventions.
Examples of recent work include:
- Strategy design and survey research to help a regional chamber of commerce identify small employer interest in promising practices for supporting workplace health.