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Community Health Improvement Week June 6-12: What it Means for You

Lee Health in the Community
Author name: Community Affairs

Community improvement graphic

Community Health Improvement Week celebrates and honors partnerships that improve the health and well-being of our community.

It’s important for all of us to remember that healthcare is more than just hospitals, doctor’s offices and outpatient clinics. Healthcare happens everywhere people gather: in the community, in churches, in the workplace and in homes. But to improve community health, our partners must be engaged with programs and services that touch on prevention, outreach, education, and screenings.

That’s why we work hard every day to create a culture of healthy lifestyles in Lee County. This is possible through dedicated leadership that represents the entire community and gets behind common goals and a shared vision.

So this week we are proud to join the American Hospital Association (AHA) and AHA Community Health Improvement (ACHI) in raising awareness for CHI Week across the country.

Community Health Needs Assessment

Alongside the Florida Department of Health in Lee County, Lee Health conducts the Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) every three years to better understand the unique health needs of Lee County residents.

This helps identify disparities and serves as the foundation to promote optimal health, address local trends, and contribute to the Lee Health community benefit program. After reviewing CHNA findings with community leaders, we identified these four priorities for the 2020-2023 CHNA cycle:

  • Mental Health & Substance Use Disorder
  • Nutrition, Physical Activity, & Weight
  • Cardiovascular & Respiratory Diseases
  • Access to Healthcare Services

More About Our Valued Partnerships

We are convinced that the key to improving the health of our community lies with community leaders. If we all have a shared vision and are committed to hard work and change, we can all move forward together!

Speaking of a shared vision—we want to tell you about Healthy Lee. This grassroots organization for improving health and well-being has a strategic plan, a network of hundreds of local organizations, and a community website to support engagement around our priorities.

These groups implement programs across the county. In this way, we can sustain and improve good health– and we can start to balance inequities.

American Heart Association and Blood Pressure Cuffs

Did you know: The American Heart Association and Lee Health have a long-standing partnership. Recently, AHA donated blood pressure cuffs to Lee Community Healthcare clinics and to the soon-to-launch Barbershop Wellness Program at Utopia Barber and Beauty Salon for patient self-monitoring.

Unfortunately, nearly half of Americans over the age of 20 have high blood pressure. And those living in poverty continue to struggle and have a higher mortality rate from cardiovascular disease – both related to high blood pressure. These cuffs will allow community members to take their own blood pressure. That means they can monitor their numbers at any time, putting them in control of their health.

Family Medicine Residents

The new Barbershop Wellness Program will also provide health education, resources, help in scheduling appointments and the chance to meet with Lee Health Family Medical Residents and Pharmacy interns.

This program will evolve to include community organizations looking to share health and social service resources. With the support of our community partners, Lee Health hopes to expand the Barbershop Wellness Program to other barbershops and salons throughout Lee County. Stay tuned for more!

Mobile Pediatric Vaccination Clinic

Golisano Children’s Hospital of Southwest Florida has launched a Mobile Pediatric Vaccination Clinic to increase COVID-19 vaccine availability for children and parents/caregivers in Southwest Florida.

The mobile clinic works hand in hand with the School District of Lee County to visit middle and high schools until school is out for the summer. The clinic has also visited Family Health Centers to provide vaccinations at their medical offices.

This effort will continue during the summer at neighborhood community centers and with other community partners throughout Lee County.

Celebrate With Us

The above are just a few of the important partnerships Lee Health celebrates for Community Health Improvement Week, We are committed to community health improvement, and we cannot do it alone. Collaborating with the vital, engaged, and passionate members of our community to improve health and well-being is how we spark change. It’s also how we have an impact on the people who need it the most.

Lauren Ware, Community Programs Coordinator & Stephanie Wardein, System Director of Community Affairs