County Health Department, Guthrie announce community health goals

(Photo via Unsplash).

The Cortland County Health Department and the Guthrie Cortland Medical Center recently selected some New York State Department of Health agenda focus areas and goals for the shared 2022-24 community health outlook, according to a release.

The selected goals between the county health department were based on the review of community health indicator data, including surveys collected from over 2,000 community members and input from 20 organizations.

The focus areas and goals are as follows:

Focus Area: Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Prevention 

Goal No. 1 – Prevent Opioid and Other Substance Misuse and Death 

Goal No. 2 – Prevent Suicide

Focus Area: Chronic Disease (Prevent Tobacco Use)

Goal No. 3 – Prevent Initiation of Tobacco Use and Youth Vaping 

Goal No. 4 – Promote Tobacco Use Cessation 

Goal No. 5 – Eliminate Secondhand Smoke

Focus Area: Vaccine Preventable Disease 

Goal No. 6 – Improve COVID-19 and Flu Vaccination Rates 

Goal No. 7 – Reduce COVID-19 and Flu Vaccination Coverage Disparities

Progress for these goals will be assessed on a quality basis. The data will be available to the public here from the 2022-24 CHA/CHIP Dashboard.

“As one of the area’s major health care providers, we strive to address the needs of our neighbors in Cortland and the surrounding region,” said Jennifer Yartym, president at Guthrie Cortland Medical Center. “The latest Community Health Assessment Survey has reinforced areas of focus for  Guthrie Cortland Medical Center and our continued commitment to addressing local health needs.”

The county health department and Guthrie will present the results of the community health assessment survey and the 2022-24 community health improvement virtually from 6:30-8:30 p.m. Aug. 30.

To register for the presentation, click here.

Statement from Nicole Anjeski, the county’s public health director:

“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the overwhelming reality that a public health threat can affect the whole world. For more than two years now, communities have been facing this global public health threat. With this pandemic we have witnessed profound impacts on health status across communities and within the worlds’ economic and political systems.

Despite all of this, public health workers across the nation and across the globe have stepped forward in these unimaginable circumstances by bringing the best science and public health recommendations to their communities on a daily basis throughout the course of this pandemic. What needs to be understood though is that public health did not do this alone, especially in the Cortland County community. The monumental support from our local health systems, physicians, community members, partners, community organizations, and local leaders all continue to play a part in helping to fight this pandemic.

As the community begins to return to a semblance of ‘normalcy’ while we move through the next phase of this pandemic, it is important to once again take a look at all the health indicators that affect the health of our community members.

The Community Health Assessment presents demographic and health indicator data for Cortland County residents, while also examining the social determinants of health, existing assets and resources in the community. The Community Health Improvement Plan establishes specific focus areas and goals for health improvement by addressing chosen priority areas through a collaborative community process.

I look forward to our continued partnership with Guthrie Cortland Medical Center, all our community partners, and the Cortland County residents in improving our community’s health.”