The North Carolina Institute of Medicine and the North Carolina Division of Public Health are drafting a 10-year plan to address health issues in the state.
“We get a lot of stakeholders in a lot of different sectors from environment, transportation, housing, and education to look at what these goals will be for the next decade,” said Brianne Lyda-McDonald, project director at the North Carolina Institute of Medicine. “We gathered together a large list of indicators for the workgroups to discuss and determine what we could narrow down to a smaller list to then take to community input sessions to ask communities what's most important to them."
Some indicators identified by the workgroups include prenatal care, routine checkups, youth tobacco use, physical activity, teen birthrates, families living at or below the federal poverty level, adverse childhood experiences, high school graduation rates, housing cost burdens, air pollution, and access to exercise opportunities.
Eight community input sessions are planned across North Carolina to give community members an opportunity to rank the importance of health indicators. A public meeting was held in Greenville on Feb. 27. Another session is slated for Mar. 19 in Jacksonville. Feedback from the community input sessions will help the workgroups determine a final list of about 20 indicators for Healthy North Carolina 2030.
“After we determine our indicators, we’ll set targets. So we’ll look at what the data is in North Carolina, at other states and nationally and kind of determine what our target will be, what our goal will be,” said Lyda-McDonald. “A lot of the work will be at community levels and health departments and this will help direct the work they do in the next decade.”