iStock_000045039496_XXXLargersThe purpose of the Arizona Health Improvement Plan (AzHIP) is to move the dial on important health outcomes and it is an important component of Public Health Accreditation. A lot has been going on behind the scenes to move us forward in the accreditation process. Below is an update of the work we have done in the areas of cross cutting strategies, addressing the leading health issues, public health accreditation, and implementation of the AzHIP:

Public Health Accreditation

We submitted the 10 health priorities approved by the Arizona Health Improvement Plan Steering Committee as supporting documentation for our accreditation application to the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB.) You can access the document here. The initial document review by PHAB is now underway and next steps will include the site visitors review of the documentation to see how well they support the standards and measures. We are also awaiting notification for the site visit date. We expect the site visit will occur this fall.

Addressing Remaining Leading Health Issues

Now that the transition of Behavioral Health to AHCCCS is complete, work on the remaining leading health issues, Mental Health and Access to Care, have continued. The Mental Health and Access to Care Workgroups met in early July to continue finalizing tactics and action items. Great feedback was provided by the participants and over the coming weeks Co-chairs will make final edits and collect leads to prepare the draft work plan. After drafts of each work plan are prepared and reviewed, co-chairs and ADHS staff will follow-up with leads to obtain their agreement and establish a timeframe (through 2020) for completion, or alternatively make measurable progress on the designated action.

The two remaining leading health issues, Suicide Prevention and Substance Abuse, will be continuing during the fall. For the Substance Abuse workgroup, we are going to allow time for the Governor’s Substance Abuse Task Force to begin their work, in order to allow the Task Force to have input into the State Health Improvement Plan.

Cross Cutting Strategies

Multi-disciplinary teams were brought together to identify goals and tactics for the cross-cutting strategies: School Health, Worksite Wellness and the Built Environment. In April, we kicked off these efforts by hosting a webinar to introduce each strategy and develop supporting tactics for each strategy. We are pleased to have a group of community experts joining us as co-leads for the cross cutting strategy work sessions: Arizona Department of Education, Vitalyst Health Foundation, and the Maricopa County Department of Health. We were joined by approximately 75 interested individuals, representing many different organizations from across the State.

The webinar provided a great launch for the follow-up work sessions where we developed and addressed the tactics and actions. During July and August, the co-leads for each of the cross-cutting work sessions will prepare their draft work plans by confirming lead organizations and timeframes. ADHS will then review the plans, make any necessary changes, and send them back out to the workgroups for approval.

Implementation of the AzHIP

We are moving into the long-term implementation and monitoring of the action items. We will be shifting the monitoring to existing standing committees where possible. For example, the Cancer Workgroup is now shifted to the Arizona Cancer Coalition, the Healthcare-Associated Infections (HAIs) Workgroup has shifted to the HAI Advisory Committee, and Diabetes Workgroup has shifted to the Diabetes Coalition.

We will be asking each workgroup to provide an annual update in December and each spring, we will host an annual meeting for the co-chairs to report out on completed implementation efforts, to identify emerging health issues, and let us know of any successes or barriers encountered. Overall goals and performance metrics identified to monitor implementation of the plan will be updated prior to the annual meeting. Information gathered will be used to complete an annual review and update of the AzHIP and will be reported back to the steering committee.

We will keep you updated on our activities and progress.