Illinois Public Health Institute facilitated a collaborative prioritization process with participating hospitals, health departments, and community stakeholders in February and March 2016. The guiding principles for prioritization were: the Health Impact Collaborative’s mission, vision, and values; alignment with local health department priorities; and data-driven decision making.
The collaborative used the following criteria when selecting strategic issues as focus areas and priorities:
- Health Equity. Addressing the issue can improve health equity and address disparities
- Root Cause/Social Determinant. Solutions to addressing the issue could impact multiple problems
- Community Input. Identified as an important issue or priority in community input data
- Availability of Resources/Feasibility. Resources (funding and human capital, existing programs and assets), Feasibility (likelihood of being able to do something collaborative and make an impact)
As a result of the comprehensive Community Health Needs Assessments and the collaborative prioritization process, the Health Impact Collaborative of Cook County identified four focus areas as significant health needs:
- Improving social, economic, and structural determinants of health while reducing social and economic inequities.
- Improving mental health and decreasing substance abuse.
- Preventing and reducing chronic disease, with a focus on risk factors such as nutrition, physical activity, and tobacco.
- Increasing access to care and community resources.