As a follow up to my email earlier this month introducing you to the agency-wide efforts around accreditation and presentations of the draft strategic map, I’m happy to formally announce our new mission and vision: To improve the health and wellness of people and communities in Arizona (our Mission) and Health and Wellness for all Arizonans (our Vision).  These two small sentences say so much about who we are & where we’re going.  

During our presentation to the Division of Licensing Services last week, a great question was asked about the difference between the words health and wellness.  I addressed the group but wanted to share with the entire agency how I view the two and the distinction between them.  Health is the measure of optimal physical, mental and social conditions, with particular emphasis on the absence or successful management of disease and pain.  Wellness means the overall well-being of a person that includes the active process of becoming aware of and making choices toward greater satisfaction of one’s life in the areas of physical, emotional, social and spiritual life. 

So health is an outcome that can be fixed and measurable (e.g. blood pressure, cholesterol levels, etc.), and wellness incorporates mind, body and spirit, and relies more on self-assessment and self-report.  For instance, many people with chronic conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, asthma, etc. report high levels of well-being, while others who are in “good health” may report low levels of well-being.  If you get questions from stakeholders I am hoping this helps explain the difference.  I also want us to remember, that when we are talking about public health we are talking about all areas of our agency – prevention, preparedness, behavioral health, licensing, operations and the state hospital. 

As an update on the strategic map presentations, we completed our third strategic map presentation and have four more.  Next up is Public Health Prevention on October 17th.  If you have any questions please contact Managing for Excellence Program.