The 2015 report is an update of the 2013 community health assessment completed by Cabell-Huntington Health Department, in collaboration with the Center for Entrepreneurial Studies and Development, Inc. (CESD), located at West Virginia University. The current process of updating the assessment enables review of health issues facing Cabell County, to support agreement on priorities and resource allocation for health improvement. The overall purpose of the needs assessment process was to support rational, data-driven allocation of resources, identify high-need areas, support planning, improve coordination of services, and assess the gap between need, resources, and capacity. The needs assessment process is considered to be as important as the product that is generated. The results of this updated community assessment report will determine the scope of health improvement efforts in Cabell County that are reflected in a written community health improvement plan.
Health outcomes in Cabell County can be improved only by first determining the current status and needs of the population and then setting priorities in order to align programs, policies, and resources. Local level performance measures will be used to monitor progress toward each priority, and will be monitored along with state and national trends. The performance measures included in the community health improvement plan, combined with evidence-based practices, will guide the decisions made by Regional Health Connect partners in implementing the most effective programs and policies to promote the health of the residents in the county.
The needs assessment process is also designed to strengthen partnerships among Regional Health Connect members. Recognizing the value and importance of all local public health system partners and stakeholders, the Cabell-Huntington Health Department (CHHD) integrally worked with these partners throughout the update of this needs assessment process and seeks to support opportunities for collaboration among partners to shape the RHC-related work on health improvement.
During the needs assessment process, CHHD operated under the premise that the results of the needs assessment would guide the work of RHC, and would be updated annually with new data to inform decision making. Each step of the assessment update process was intended to help narrow the focus to the areas of greatest need, and lead to a final selection of priorities with development of an action plan to address each priority, considering both capacity and resources in the process.