Regional Priorities

As Health ENC counties finalize their CHNA/CHA reports and select their priorities for community health improvement plans, the Health ENC Steering Committee is exploring areas of alignment around the most common health priorities in eastern NC. These 4 were identified by reviewing the priorities selected by Health ENC counties in their most recent CHNA/CHA. To facilitate this alignment and collaboration, Health ENC is working to schedule 4 workgroup meetings, one to discuss each of the 4 most common priorities identified in Health ENC counties. These priorities are:

Access to Care and Health Equity

The Institute of Medicine defines access to care as “the timely use of personal health services to achieve the best health outcomes.” Access to health care not only affects their physical, social, and mental health, but also affects their quality of life. As a result, it is important to increase the access of the population to comprehensive and quality health care services to promote and maintain good health, and to prevent and manage disease.

Areas to Address

  • Availability of services
  • Fetal and infant health/mortality
  • Maternal/women’s health
  • Men’s health
  • Poor or no insurance coverage
  • Senior health
  • Social determinants of health
    • Education and literacy
    • Natural and built environment
    • Public safety – Adverse Childhood Events
    • Socioeconomic conditions – Food Insecurity, Stable Housing
    • Transportation

Healthy Lifestyles and Health Behaviors

Healthy lifestyles and health behaviors address the physical, mental, and social wellbeing of an individual. A healthy lifestyle made through healthy behavioral actions lowers the risk of developing chronic diseases and help in managing the same diseases.

Areas to Address

  • Chronic disease prevention and/or management
    • Cancer
    • Diabetes
    • Heart diseases
    • Respiratory diseases
    • Stroke
  • Nutrition
  • Physical activity
  • Tobacco cessation
  • Weight management (obesity)

Substance Abuse and/or Use

The use of harmful or hazardous psychoactive substances has major impacts on individuals, families, and communities. Substance abuse contributes to public health problems in social, physical, and mental aspects. The reduction of substance abuse and use should be addressed to protect the health, safety, and quality of life for the population.

Areas to Address

  • Adolescent abuse of prescription drugs
  • Alcohol use
    • Excessive consumption
    • Motor vehicle accidents
    • Underaged drinking
  • Domestic violence and child abuse
  • Homicide
  • Illegal drug use
    • Needle sharing
    • Transmission of HIV/AIDS or other STDs
  • Opioid crisis
  • Suicide
  • Tobacco use
    • E-cigarettes and vaping in youth population

Mental Health

Mental health is the state of mental well-being which results in fulfilling relationships with others, can work productively, contribute to the community, and can adapt to change and cope with the normal stresses of life. Mental illness contributes to various problems, including disability, pain, or death.

Areas to Address

  • Domestic violence and child abuse
  • Homicide
  • Older adults
    • Dementia and mood disorders
  • Protective factors to lower risk of developing mental disorders
  • Psychological trauma from natural disasters
  • Risk factors which predispose individuals to mental illness
  • Suicide
  • Veteran mental health
  • Youth mental health