Devote additional resources to prevention and wellness.
In 2011, a panel of experts from the Polk County community came together to identify gaps, initiatives, and stakeholders related to prevention and wellness. The identified stakeholders gathered in March 2012 to prioritize the proposed initiatives and create a work plan. As a result of the stakeholder gathering, work has begun to advance this Healthy Polk priority. Click here for a full report on the process.
Experts believe that if this priority is successful, people will take more responsibility for their own health, with medical providers focusing more time on coaching prevention and wellness. A more coordinated approach to care will result in more efficient use of resources and better and more connected services for clients. Neighborhoods will play an important role, with an emphasis on developing neighborhoods that encourage residents to “connect” personally with their neighbors, increasing the use of alternative transportation and having easy access to parks and green spaces. A focus on indoor pollutants that are particularly troublesome in Iowa will reduce negative health consequences for children and families. Increasing the mental health and substance abuse resources available to persons in the criminal justice system will enhance the likelihood of successful transition to a productive life outside detention facilities.
Stakeholders gather as a community around this priority several times each year. Below are brief summaries of the ongoing work, and individuals to contact for more information.