Community Health Improvement Plan

Community Health Improvement Plan Targets Obesity and High Blood Pressure

Community Health Assessment Results

In 2012-2013, Ontario County Public Health worked with local hospitals and other community agencies to complete a Community Health Assessment (CHA). During this process, we reviewed disease rates, surveyed the community, and held focus groups. We asked residents, healthcare professionals, government officials, and community leaders their impressions of health and healthcare in Ontario County. Perhaps you completed an on-line survey or participated in a focus group during this time. After sorting and organizing all the information we collected, it became clear Ontario County residents suffer higher rates of obesity, high blood pressure, and stroke than other counties in the region and/or state.

Obesity and High Blood Pressure

Obesity is a problem that has grown significantly worse in the last four years. Ontario County has the highest percentage of overweight/obese children in the region. Obesity contributes to many chronic diseases throughout life including high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.

Hypertension (high blood pressure) affects millions of Americans and increases the risk of stroke. It is affected by aging, obesity, sedentary lifestyle, and other factors. Many adults in Ontario County suffer from high blood pressure and more people die of stroke in our county than in other New York counties. We also have more sedentary (inactive) adults.

Community Health Improvement Plan

Eating habits and exercise are behaviors that impact both obesity and high blood pressure. During the next four years, Ontario County Public Health plans to partner with supermarkets, food pantries, schools, senior meal sites, hospitals, and restaurants to promote good nutrition. This will include making recommendations for eating less salt and more whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Plans also include encouraging physical activity, assisting employers in developing workplace wellness programs, and promoting breastfeeding which has been shown to lower a child's risk of becoming obese. We will particularly reach out to our low-income population because studies show a relationship between income and health.

There are many other areas of health and healthcare that are important to consider; teen pregnancy, sexually transmitted diseases, health insurance, smoking, substance abuse, binge drinking, and mental illness to name a few. Public health programming addressing many of these issues is already in place and these efforts will continue in the future.

It is exciting to think that by working together as a community over the course of the next four years, we can decrease the rates of obesity and hypertension in Ontario County. If you would like more information or would like to be involved in implementing the Community Health Improvement Plan, please contact us.
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