An assessment of Reno County was conducted by the Reno County Health Improvement Council comprised of members from Horizons Mental Health, Hospice and Homecare of Reno County, Hutchinson Regional Medical Center, Wesley Towers, Reno County Health Department, Hutchinson Clinic, Prairie Star Health Center, and United Way of Reno County. The Health Improvement Council conducted a Community Health Assessment (CHA) for the 62,718 resident of Reno County. 2.3% of Reno County residents contributed to the CHA in the form of a survey.

With the top five issues identified, the Health Improvement Council asked Reno County residents to provide more input into the things that affect our health and the things that we are able to change at a Community Health Discussion. The Council then analyzed all of the data and strategies collected at the Community Health Discussion and identified Obesity and Mental Health as the two areas that have the greatest potential impact on the health of Reno County. The Community Health Improvement Plan illustrates the strategic plan for improving the health of Reno County over the next three years in these two focus areas.

Click here to view Community Health Improvement Plan

Pathways to a Healthy Kansas

Heal Reno County received the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas Pathways to a Healthy Kansas grant in August 2016 alongside 7 other Kansas communities.

Pathways to a Healthy Kansas is the largest community grant program ever funded by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas. The Pathways program provides community coalitions with the tools and resources needed to remove barriers and engage their communities in ways that enable healthy eating and tobacco-free, active living to become a way of life. The grant funding for each community includes a coordination grant of $100,000, with the opportunity to apply for non-competitive implementation and achievements grants amounting to $215,000, for a total of $315,000 per community by the end of the three-year grant.

The grant is designed to help Reno County make changes across seven focus areas, all converging to collectively make living healthy an easy, familiar, and expected part of routines and traditions.

Healthy Communities Initiative: Health Equity Grant

Heal Reno County received a Healthy Communities Initiative: Health Equity Grant from the Kansas Health Foundation in summer 2017. Health equity means making sure everyone has a chance to make healthy choices, no matter where they live, work, or play.

Our early goals are to:

  • Choose a target neighborhood for this project.
  • Ask residents about key issues where they live.
  • Improve the leadership and advocacy skills of both residents and Heal members.

By working together to improve the health of those with fewer opportunities to make healthy choices, we will improve the health of the whole community. This initiative is ongoing until winter 2020.

Chronic Disease Risk Reduction Grant

The Chronic Disease Risk Reduction program is administered through the Kansas Department of Health and Environment. CDRR programs focus on improving physical activity and nutrition and decreasing tobacco use. Tobacco control efforts are focused on coordination with medical and mental health providers for referral to cessation services and recruiting business to join WorkWell KS and add tobacco control and cessation policies into their workplace policies and wellness plans. Smoke-free policy development and implementation at parks, schools, and workplaces is also a focus. Chronic Disease Self-Management Education, Diabetes Self-Management Education, and Stepping On (a falls prevention course for those 65 and over) are offered throughout Reno County to increase the self-efficacy and autonomy of residents of Reno County as they work to live with and control chronic conditions. Physical activity programming focuses on increasing opportunities for physical activity for youth and adults through things like the Walking School Bus and support of biking and walking initiatives throughout the community. Nutrition and healthy cooking classes are offered throughout the community to students and parents, and healthy vending and food policy development support are offered to school districts and employers.

Two big successes in 2016 came in the area of smoke-free policy. We were able to get the Kansas State Fair to adopt designated smoking areas into their new master plan. This makes a vast majority of the fairgrounds smoke-free and will prevent second-hand smoke exposure to thousands of fairgoers and patrons of the fairgrounds throughout the year. We also worked with a local youth leadership team, Communities That Care, to have the Hutchinson City Council amend the city’s clean indoor air ordinance to include electronic nicotine delivery systems. Previously, you could use these devices in places where smoking was prohibited, but now “vaping” is not allowed anywhere that smoking is not.

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