(Fremont County, WY) – The Wyoming Department of Health (WDH) is inviting state residents to participate in the next stage of preparing an overall state health improvement plan for Wyoming.
WDH, together with the State Health Improvement Plan Steering Committee organized by the department, chose behavioral health, access to healthcare and unintentional injury as priorities following an earlier effort to evaluate health-related issues in the state.
“Our work now involves selecting strategies related to those identified priorities,” said Feliciana Turner, performance improvement and health equity manager with the WDH Public Health Division. “We will also weigh the challenges that might be involved with implementing those strategies.”
Turner said the public, healthcare provider partners and other stakeholders are invited to participate in a series of online Common Ground for Action forums to help shape the strategy selection. The forums begin December 6.
Results from the forums will be used to determine the final set of strategies to be included in Wyoming’s state health improvement plan. “It’s expected the resulting strategies will be those with high levels of support and agreement among participants, and are expected to be strategies that can actively involve the contributions of many organizations and individuals,” Turner said.
Stephanie Pyle, WDH Public Health Division senior administrator, said, “The state health improvement plan is a broad effort intended to reflect and address Wyoming’s specific needs. Ideally, we see the plan as a tool to enhance and strengthen existing efforts and help address gaps related to Wyoming’s complex health challenges.”
Pyle said WDH encourages stakeholders and anyone interested in improving public health in Wyoming to join the conversation during the upcoming online forums.
The use of this forum format has been made possible through partnership with the University of Wyoming (UW) under the Unlocking Community Health Access Together (UCHAT) project. Additional information will be collected through this partnership to better understand public trust and needs relative to public engagement opportunities.
Anders Van Sandt, assistant professor of regional economics and extension specialist with UW, said, “The goal of UW’s Grand Challenges partnership with WDH is to increase public engagement and establish common ground around strategies that address Wyoming’s most pressing community health challenges. UW will primarily support the WDH through our extension network resources and our faculty’s ability to conduct high-level analysis on the issues that are most important to Wyoming communities.”
For more information on the overall state health improvement plan process, click here.