NAVAJO COUNTY — Finding specific information about the key health issues in Navajo County is easier, faster and more accessible than ever before with the new Navajo County Public Health Services online Community Dashboard.

The dashboard, launched in mid-May, provides up-to-date, data-rich and comprehensive information about health topics studied, surveyed and compiled in the 2018 Community Health Assessment (CHA).

The CHA report, in its entirety, was made available to the public last year. It is a 162-page document that includes information from a variety of sources including a resident survey, epidemiological data, local service agencies, healthcare providers and many other sources.

And while the report is valuable in printed form, the Public Health Services District and CHA partners expanded the assessment into a plan to take action and solve problems. This endeavor is called the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP).

“Health is vital to the success of our residents and our community,” states a press release announcing the dashboard rollout. “Improving health is a community-wide effort, and we must come together to solve these complex issues.”

“We want to foster new partnerships and strengthen existing ones that improve health for everyone: tribal and non-tribal residents, across religious beliefs, and across neighborhoods,” adds the press release.

To help engage the community and foster new partnerships while strengthening the existing ones, the health district has populated the Community Health Assessment data, priorities and strategy focus groups into the Community Dashboard.

The focus groups are working on the key health issues identified in the Community Health Assessment such as challenges with poverty, chronic disease, addiction, emotional health and reproductive health.

Accessing the Dashboard

Anyone who has internet access can visit the website at https://dashboards.mysidewalk.com/navajocountychip/navajocountychip.

On the Home page of the website you will see “Our Story” which encapsulates the five health priorities identified in the CHA which include challenges with poverty, mental and emotional health, substance abuse, chronic diseases and community resources.

Each section has multiple menus, charts, graphs, statistics and/or pictures that illustrate the information. “The dashboard displays the data that supports the improvement plan priorities on a public-facing platform and in a way that is meaningful to all residents of Navajo County,” says Navajo County Public Health and Emergency Management Director Jeff Lee.

It also provides raw data that can be exported into a CSV spreadsheet. There are automated features that also allow the viewer to move the computer mouse over a specific census area (region in the county) and see data specific to that area.

“The Community Dashboard takes the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) to a new level; it is now an interactive, educational and informational tool available for everyone to use,” Lee adds. “And together we, the people of Navajo County, can all work toward a shared goal of improved health for ourselves, our families, our friends and our neighbors.”

A living document

Information will be updated quarterly in the Community Dashboard, according to Lee, so it’s a living document and current source of information.

“The CHIP priority work groups that began in January each set goals and objectives,” says Lee. “Each workgroup will report activities quarterly and the dashboard will be updated, keeping us accountable and creating transparency to the work that is being done to help improve the health of our community.”

“In addition to the dashboard, the platform has many other functions that will be helpful for use and our partners when applying for grants and when sharing information about other public health initiatives.”

If you have questions about the Community Dashboard or would like to get involved in a strategic focus group, contact the Navajo County Public Health Services District at 928-532-6050, or visit http://www.navajocountyaz.gov/Departments/Public-Health-Services.

Reach the reporter at lsingleton@wmicentral.com

Laura Singleton is a reporter for the White Mountain Independent, covering Show Low city government, business and education.

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