The Licking County Community Health Improvement Committee (CHIC) was formed in April, 2010 and developed Licking County’s first Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) in 2011. The committee is comprised of over 20 local agencies working collaboratively to address the most prominent public health issues facing Licking County.
The priorities identified in the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) make a clear statement about what the experts and decision makers within the public health system think are the biggest concerns to health in our community. Coming to an agreement on the priorities and agreeing as a group was important so that the committee could speak with one voice about how to best improve public health in the county.
Behavioral Health concerns regarding addiction and untreated depression and anxiety have been voiced by multiple CHIC members, and data was presented to justify its inclusion as a priority. It was identified a priority in the Community Themes and Strengths and Forces of Change Assessments conducted by CHIC members. Behavioral Health is also listed as a priority in the State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP). Behavioral Health is also included in Healthy People 2020, and specific objectives are included regarding depression and anxiety. Additionally, concerns with substance abuse are also contained in the SHIP and Healthy People 2020, which CHIC members determined should be included under the Behavioral Health priority.
Access to care has been a concern since the CHIC was formed in 2010. However, with the expansion of Medicaid in Ohio, the number of individuals without insurance fell dramatically from 2013 to 2017. Unfortunately, the number of individuals that could not use their health care when needed remained stagnant. Access to care was the only priority to be identified as a concern in all four MAPP assessments. It is also linked to the SHIP, National Prevention Strategy and Healthy People 2020.