Community Health Improvement Plan

photo credit: Black River Falls Memorial Hospital,

An ongoing project I have been working on is assisting the Black River Falls Memorial Hospital located in Black River Falls, WI complete their community health improvement plan. One of the changes brought on by healthcare reform has been the requirement of hospitals to complete a community health improvement plan to maintain their non-profit status. Many hospitals across the nation have been relying on public health professionals to help with the process as it has traditionally been a public health function.

Black River Falls is located in Jackson County and is unique in that not only does have a community hospital and  a local health department but it is also home to the Ho-Chunk Nation. During the fall of 2011 I helped the core group facilitate a community health forum to identify health priorities and brainstorm ways to address them. It was great to see representatives from the local health department, the Ho-Chunk nation, law enforcement, schools, human services, various community groups and local residents come together. Many of the attendees shared the same concerns but were unable to identify allies in the community. The forum provided a space to network and discuss the health of the community.

The core group is continuing to meet and is transitioning from identify priorities to developing action plans. I'll be sure share updates along the way.