January 26, 2023
Oneida County Releases Community Health Assessment & Improvement Plan
County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. announced today the release of Oneida County’s Community Health Assessment and Improvement Plan that has identified improving mental health and preventing chronic diseases as leading areas of focus over the next two years.
“The goal of our Community Health Assessment and Improvement Plan is to provide a thorough review of, and insight to, the significant health needs across Oneida County, particularly within our most vulnerable populations,” Picente said. “It is a collaborative effort with the public and key community stakeholders that helps us identify public health gaps and barriers, and lays the ground work for executing solutions to improve the health of Oneida County.”
Every three years, the Oneida County Health Department, Mohawk Valley Health System and Rome Health conduct a comprehensive review that helps identify the county’s current health status and key health needs in Oneida County and provide a framework to support health and wellness in the county.
The current assessment — which is available here — was conducted within the parameters of the New York State Department of Health’s Prevention Agenda. It is the first to be completed since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and covers the time period of 2022 to 2024.
Community input was gathered through surveys, focus groups and in-depth interviews with key stakeholders. Additionally, data was gathered from a number of sources including the New York State Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) and Community Health Indicator Reports (CHIRS).
“This comprehensive assessment gives our community and community partners a better look at the current health of our county, as well as a direction of how to best focus our resources to improve the health of the county,” said Oneida County Director of Health Daniel W. Gilmore, Ph.D., MPH. “This document should also be used by community agencies as a resource to guide their program development.”
The top areas of priority of focus for Oneida County through 2024 were identified by the assessment as:
- Mental health, including children’s and teens’ social emotional health
- Chronic disease preventative care
- Substance use/opioids
- Maternal and child health
The majority of participants said that mental health was a significant problem in Oneida County. Nearly 62% percent of survey respondents chose improving mental health as the top priority, and the focus group overwhelmingly agreed it was something that should be readily addressed.
Fifty-one percent of survey respondents said that increasing preventive care, including wellness visits and annual physicals, is a priority. The focus group agreed that increasing compliance with preventative care and recommended health screenings is an important component to helping Oneida County residents maintain their health and well-being. Breast cancer and diabetes were identified as particular areas of concentration.
The Oneida County Health Department will be working with MVHS, Rome Health and other partner agencies to strengthen programs in these priority areas.
"The collaborative process of identifying and addressing the pressing health needs of communities throughout Oneida County helps to improve the overall quality of life and health for our community members,” said Patricia Charvat, Senior Vice President, Marketing and Strategy for MVHS. “Working with the Oneida County Health Department, Rome Health and other community partners, we can make a meaningful difference in access to vital healthcare services and programs."
“Rome Health was pleased to participate in this comprehensive process to better understand our community’s most pressing healthcare needs,” said Rome Health President & Chief Executive Officer AnneMarie Czyz, EdD., RN, NEA-BC. “Healthcare organizations and community agencies depend upon this important feedback to help inform and shape our strategic plans. By collaborating around the priorities that emerged, we are able to collectively improve the health of the communities we serve.”