The last State Health Improvement Plan covered the period of 2019-2023. It combined the data from the State Health Assessment, completed in 2018, with strategies to improve health outcomes and reduce inequities in five priority areas: chronic disease, early childhood, mental health, oral health, and substance use disorder. The Plan was designed for partners across agencies and in multiple sectors.
SHA: Where does the data come from? Can I find ALL data about Vermont health here?
We relied primarily on data the Health Department collects, such as the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS), Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), birth and death certificates, and hospital discharge data. No, the SHA does not present all the health data about Vermont, and it does not have information about performance. The SHA is a selection of important data about population level health. For information about all the data available through the Health Department, see the Data Encyclopedia.
SHA: How did you choose what data was ‘important’? Why don’t I see _________ addressed?
The health department handles much more data than you see in this assessment. The goal of the State Health Assessment is to focus on health equity. We selected four “Populations in Focus”–people of color, people who identify as LGBTQ, people living with disabilities, and people living in poverty. The other highlighted issues are those where Vermonters are faring worse than people in other states or the data is moving in the wrong direction.
Health issues that are not in the State Health Assessment remain important. The health department and our partners will continue to work to create opportunities for health for all Vermonters.
SHIP: What was the process for choosing SHIP priorities?
The goal is to identify 3-5 issues that the health department, other state partners, and a wide range of community advisors see the need and opportunity for improvement if we all “row in the same direction.” All of the issues identified in the State Health Assessment were rated by staff at the department of health and members of the Advisory Committee using the following criteria:
Magnitude: To what degree is it a significant public health issue?
Impact on Equity: To what degree is it a significant health equity issue?
Economic and Social Cost: To what degree does it create economic and social challenges?
Feasibility for Change: To what degree are we able to act and make change?
Take a look at the March Advisory Committee Meeting Summary for more information about the process.