Kankakee County Community Health Needs Assessment and Community Health Plan - August 31, 2012

Kankakee County Community Themes and Strengths Assessment - 2012

Kankakee County Public Health System Assessment - September 30, 2011

Kankakee County Community Health Status Assessment - 2011

Kankakee County IPLAN 2008

Kankakee County Analysis of Community Health Needs - March 2007



I.  Purpose

The Kankakee County Health Department seeks to serve the health needs of the citizens of Kankakee County through an emphasis on health promotion and disease prevention.  Knowing exactly what the health needs of the constituency are as well as understanding other social characteristics of the population being served is essential to the proper performance of this role.  Assessment of the community and planning for its needs requires a constant flow of information from many sources, plus analysis of that information and transformation into policy and programming to best serve the local residents. This includes assessing what problems exist, and deciding how to bring about changes that will create improvement.  To that end, this report summarizes the results of a comprehensive community health needs assessment completed for Kankakee County and identifies the priority areas for action.

In addition to being a collaborative effort to address community health needs, this assessment has also been prepared by the Kankakee County Health Department, led by the health department administrator, Bonnie Schaafsma, to meet the requirements of Section 600.400 of the Certified Local Health Department Code which requires a community health needs assessment that systematically describes the prevailing health status and health needs of the population within the local health department’s jurisdiction.  Such assessments are to be conducted at 5 year intervals.   This will be the fourth such assessment and plan completed for Kankakee County and will cover the year 2011-2016. 

II.   Community Participation Process

Partnership for a Healthy Community

In January, 2011, representatives from the Kankakee County Health Department, Provena St. Mary’s Hospital, Riverside Medical Center, and the United Way of Kankakee County met to discuss mutual needs for a community needs assessment and health planning and how they might collaborate in the process.  An overview of the Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships (MAPP) was presented by a representative of the Illinois Public Health Institute (IPHI).  After consideration and discussion regarding this framework, the four agencies agreed to enter into an agreement with IPHI for technical assistance and facilitation of the MAPP process. They also agreed to expand the collaborative and added 12 other representatives as a steering committee and adopted the name Partnership for a Healthy Community (PHC). (See Figure 1 for a listing of Steering Committee members.) These individuals represent a variety of different medical, social service, governmental, and business entities in the county and were chosen to participate based on their commitment to improving the health of the county, knowledge about the county, willingness to maintain a county-wide perspective, and their willingness to represent a particular perspective, organization or sector of the county.
At a subsequent meeting of the steering committee, established the vision to “Build a strong, healthy and safe Kankakee County” and committed to the mission of “Creating a healthy community through comprehensive assessments and the implementation of effective plans”.  The committee also agreed that the following set of values would guide the process of community assessment and planning:

  1. We commit to collaborate with active engagement, commitment, and accountability of all partners.
  2. We commit to open communication, understanding, and respect for the needs and viewpoints of all partners.
  3. We commit to gathering comprehensive, quality data in order to identify and prioritize community needs.
  4. We commit to sharing the findings of our assessment in order to inform and educate the community.
  5. We commit to creating and implementing realistic plans, measuring the impact, and communicating our results.

III.     Methods

MAPP is a community-driven strategic planning framework that assists communities in developing and implementing efforts around the prioritization of public health issues and the identification of resources to address them as defined by the 10 Essential Public Health ServicesThe MAPP process includes four assessment tools including the Community Health Status Assessment and the Community Themes and Strengths Assessment.

Community Health Status Assessment - Click HERE to view a copy.
The Community Health Status Assessment (CHSA) was compiled and analyzed by staff of the IPHI, as per the agreement with the Partnership.  The report was completed during the last six months of 2011. The report comprises comprehensive data describing who resides in Kankakee County, the community’s health status and strengths and risks that may be contributing to residents’ wellbeing.  Through the review of the 2007 Kankakee County Analysis of Community Health Needs and collaborative decision making by the PHC CHSA subcommittee, more than 100 key health indictors were identified for inclusion in the assessment.  Topics included in the data assessment were: population; race/ethnicity, language and ancestry; household characteristics, marital status and marriage/divorce; income and poverty; education and employment; housing; natality; mortality; health status; mental health and substance abuse; health resources; and crime and violence.

The major sources of information for the CHSA include the 2010 Census of Population and Housing, other Census updates, vital statistics collected by the Illinois Department of Public Health, hospital discharge data, the 2010 Illinois County Behavioral Risk Factor Survey for Kankakee County, the IPLAN Data System, and other social and economic indicators primarily from state and regional agencies.  For each specific indicator, data for Kankakee County was presented and, where available, was compared to Illinois and National data for that indicator.  In addition, an analysis of the data for each indicator was included on each page.

Community Themes and Strengths Assessment - Click HERE to view a copy.
The Kankakee County Community Themes and Strengths Assessment (CTSA) is focused on gathering thoughts, opinions, and perceptions of community members.  The CTSA served to help partnership members develop a meaningful understanding of community health issues that are important to residents across the county, residents’ perceptions about quality of life, and an inventory of community assets.  The CTSA was conducted between January 2012 and March 2012 and focused on answering the following questions;

  1. What health related issues are important to community residents in Kankakee County?
  2. What issues disproportionately affect underserved communities in Kankakee County?
  3. How is quality of life perceived in Kankakee County communities?
  4. What assets exist in Kankakee County that can be used to improve community health?

To answer these questions, the PHC used a mailed survey and held several focus groups.  The survey was prepared by IPHI with input from the CTSA subcommittee and mailed to a random sample of homes throughout Kankakee County. Response to the survey could be completed by mail or on-line. Three hundred and ninety five households, including 404 individuals, responded to the survey.  In order to gain input from populations under-represented by the survey respondents, focus groups were held with senior citizens, African American citizens, Hispanic citizens, and teens. Results of both the mail survey and the focus group meeting were tabulated and analyzed by the IPHI and presented in the Kankakee County Community Themes and Strengths Assessment.

Local Public Health System Assessment - Click HERE to view a copy.
On September 30, 2011, the PHC convened a meeting to conduct the Local Public Health System Assessment (LPHSA).  In addition to the steering committee, many other representatives of organizations and agencies that are part of the local public health system were invited to participate in the assessment process, with 46 individuals actually attending.  The LPHSA measures the performance of the local public health system, defined as the collective efforts of public, private, and voluntary entities, as well as individuals and informal associations that contribute to the public’s health within a jurisdiction.  Staff from IPHI facilitated the meeting and provided oversight of the process.

The National Public Health Performance Standards Program local assessment instrument was used by participants to measure performance.  This instrument is framed around the 10 Essential Public Health Services that are utilized in the field to describe the scope of public health.  For each essential service, there are model standards that describe or correspond to the primary activities conducted at the local level.  The attendees were divided into 5 groups, each staffed with a trained facilitator and two recorders, with each group given the charge of using the tool to evaluate 2 of the essential services. Discussion questions developed for each standard in each essential service facilitated discussion and exploration of how the standard is being met within the local public health system in Kankakee County so that performance measures could be rated. In addition to measuring overall system performance, the LPHSA included an assessment of the contribution of the Kankakee County Health Department to the total system effort for each essential public health service.  The LPHSA results were intended to be used for quality improvement purposes for the public health system and to guide the development of the overall public health infrastructure. 

Forces of Change Assessment - Click HERE to view a copy.
The Forces of Change Assessment (FCA) serves to identify forces that are occurring or will occur that affect the community or the local public health system.  The FCA also focuses on issues broader than the community including uncontrollable factors that impact the environment in which the local public health system operates, such as trends, legislation, funding shifts, politics, etc.  The FCA was conducted by the PHC steering committee at a meeting in February, 2012.  The top forces of change in Kankakee County were determined to be:

  1. Economic development of Kankakee County
  2. Healthcare reform
  3. Growing aging population
  4. Loss of homes
  5. Focus on healthy lifestyles

IV.  Process and Priority Setting Method

On April 26, 2012, the Partnership for a Healthy Community convened a day-long meeting to review the results of all the assessment data and analysis and identify and prioritize health issues.  Participants invited included members of the PHC steering committee and other representatives from county agencies and organizations including those who participated in the public health system assessment. Thirty individuals did attend the meeting.  The process was facilitated by Laurie Call of the IPHI.  Members of the PHC steering committee presented a power point review of the data from each of the four MAPP assessments for the group to consider. Participants were then asked to consider the information and identify strategic health issues and health problems.  Strategic issues were identified as fundamental policy choices or critical challenges that must be addressed in order for a community to achieve its vision.  A health problem was described as a situation or condition of people or the environment measured in death, disease or disability which is believed will exist in the future and which is considered undesirable.  After a lengthy group discussion, the following ten issues were identified:

  1. Mental Health
  2. Preventable Risk Factors for Chronic Disease-Obesity, Tobacco Use
  3. Unemployment/Workforce development/Education
  4. Access to Care
  5. Violence/Safety/Substance Abuse
  6. Coordination of Care/Case management
  7. Communication
  8. Responsiveness to Growing Multi-cultural population
  9. Senior health issues
  10. Teen Pregnancy

In the afternoon session, the participants were divided into 5 groups.   Each group was asked to further evaluate and consider two of the ten issues identified.  This process involves evaluating each potential problem based on the following factors:

1.  Is this issue cross-cutting? Proportion of population affected. Number of people affected.
2.  What are the specific needs for improvement related to this issue?  Interventions, need for new activity, resources, outcomes expected.
3.  What do we need to know about this issue? Demographics, death rate, disability rate, influencing factors.
4.  How would you characterize the priority of this issue?  Consequences of inaction, effective interventions available, and seriousness of the issue.

The participants then reconvened as the whole group and each breakout group presented the results of their discussion of the issues.  The group at large was also able to ask questions and provide input.  After the five groups completed their presentations, a list of the ten issues/problems were posted on the wall of the meeting room and the participants were given the chance to vote for what they considered the top five issues/health problems needing focused action.  The results of the voting identified the following as the top three priority health needs for Kankakee County:

  1. Mental Health Needs
  2. Improved Access to Care
  3. Reducing Risk Factors for Chronic Disease-Obesity

At the conclusion of the meeting, plans were also made for the participants to continue to meet and to form subcommittees for each of the priority health needs identified.  These subcommittees will serve to assist with planning, implementation and evaluation of actions to address the identified problems.  Attendees were given the opportunity to sign up for participation in the subcommittees as they left the meeting.

In July, 2012, a report on the community needs assessment and the priority health problems identified was presented to the Kankakee County Board of Health.  The Board approved the assessment and accepted the three priority areas of mental health needs, improved access to care, and reducing risk factors for chronic disease as areas of focus for the work of the health department and for budget consideration in the coming five years. Click HERE to view the report.

Figure 1

Partnership for a Healthy Community Steering Committee Members

Dr. John Avendano Kankakee Community College
Greg Carrell* United Way of Kankakee County
Torrie Carter Provena St. Mary's Hospital
Carole Franke Kankakee County NAACP
Margaret Frogge Riverside Medical Center
Pastor Larry Garcia Kankakee County Hispanic Partnership
Pam Gulczynski Provena Home Health Care
Jackie Haas The Helen Wheeler Center for Community Mental Health
Greg Harris Catholic Charities
Sister Anne Jaeger* Provena St Mary's Hospital
Dr. John Jurica* Riverside Medical Center, Kankakee County Board of Health
Dr. Carl Leth Olivet Nazarene University
Theodis Pace Kankakee County NAACP
Bonnie Schaafsma* Kankakee County Health Department
Dr. Jim Upchurch Olivet Nazarene University
* Indicates Co-Chairs