Public feedback needed for 2023 Improvement Plan
AUSTIN, Texas – Austin Public Health (APH) has published the 2022 Community Health Assessment for Austin-Travis County. The assessment includes a review of data that sheds light on the social and economic context, community health issues, and community visions of residents.
These assessments are completed every three years to better guide health strategy as part of our Austin/Travis County Community Health Plan, a collaborative planning initiative organized by several community groups:
- Ascension Seton
- Austin Public Health
- Austin Transportation Department
- Baylor Scott & White Health
- Capital Metro
- Central Health
- Integral Care
- St. David’s Foundation
- Travis County Health and Human Services
- Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin
- The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston School of Public Health in Austin
“While research and studies are important for our work as a health department, they only get us so far,” said APH Director Adrienne Sturrup. “We need input from our community. Taking time to submit feedback will help you, your family and your neighbors.”
This year’s assessment is a compilation of data, interviews, focus groups, listening sessions, and social media campaigns. Common themes include:
- Social determinants of health, such as access to healthy food and financial security required to be healthy, are viewed as more pressing concerns than health outcomes themselves.
- Healthcare access – specifically the high cost of healthcare and insurance – is a significant concern in Austin-Travis County, especially among people of color.
- The COVID-19 pandemic has substantially affected the lives and physical and mental health Austin-Travis County residents.
APH is asking for feedback on the assessment. Get involved by visiting SpeakUp Austin! Community feedback will inform our health goals for the next three years. Planning for the 2023 Improvement Plan will begin in August and is set to be completed by February 2023.
“Our Community Health Assessment is crucial in determining what the community needs, and the best way to go about serving those needs,” said Dr. Desmar Walkes. “This will help guide the work of APH and our partners to improve the community’s health for years to come.”
This assessment is a critical component of our accreditation process, issued by the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB). PHAB sets standards against which public health departments can continuously improve the quality of their services and performance.