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    Beginning June 18, the Visioning Subcommittee conducted a two-week visioning survey throughout Tarrant County. They developed a survey that included several questions asking Tarrant County citizens how they felt about their community and what they would like to see in the future. They held nine focus groups within the four county precincts, received 371 responses from the online survey, which included 560 written responses. One of the questions asked was “When you think of a healthy Tarrant County for those who live, work and play here, what five things do you think are most important?” The following are the top five responses:

    1. Clean & safe physical environments and neighborhoods

    2. Access to affordable health services, including dental, public health and prevention programs

    3. Economic and social development

    4. Affordable, accessible nutritious foods

    5. Access to affordable, safe physical activities

    More results will be posted at a later date.

     

    The Visioning Subcommittee planned a day to share the survey results with and gather input from the MAPP Steering Committee members. On July 18, the MAPP Steering Committee participated in a very exciting, thought-provoking meeting. The casual, working session was a great day of reflection and thinking outside the box sprinkled with a little bit of celebration. The session began and ended with a fun, engaging circle to emphasize how individuals come together with different ideas, thoughts and experiences, but can work together to reach a common goal.

     

    During this meeting, the Steering Committee members had the opportunity to:

    1. Hear what those who live, work and play here envision Tarrant County to be in the next 5-10 years;

    2. Develop an achievable, shared vision statement that is strong, powerful and a picture of the ideal future; and

    3. Develop value statements that emphasize a positive climate and supportive behaviors contributing to the achievement of the vision.

     

    The new vision is Empowered people living healthy in a vibrant and safe community. They also agreed on a new name for this county-wide effort – Tarrant County Voices for Health and a draft logo. Kudos to the Visioning Subcommittee for all their hard work in making the Visioning Phase successful!

     

    In July, the Local Public Health System Assessment (LPHSA) and the Community Themes and Strengths Assessment (CTSA) began implementation. A Public Health System is complex. There are many system partners (e.g., faith institutions, hospitals, schools, businesses, elected officials, neighborhood associations, etc.) that contribute to health and delivery of the 10 Essential Services of Public Health. The essential services of public health is a framework that was developed by national organizations in order to better identify and assure public health responsibilities. MAPP talks a lot about community ownership and community engagement. This refers both to the agencies and organizations that make up the local public health system, but it also refers to the broader community including community residents.

     

    MAPP is the only community planning instrument that incorporates the local instrument of the National Public Health Performance Standards Program (NPHPSP) . It was developed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This instrument is a key tool that provides a planning process for addressing the results of the performance standards assessment. The Local Public Health System Assessment’s performance assessment using model standards for all of the 10 Essential Services of Public Health together will provide a comprehensive picture of the work of the local public health system in Tarrant County.

    Another MAPP assessment, the CTSA, identifies:

    · Themes that interest and engage the community

    · Perceptions about quality of life

    · Community assets

     

    There are three levels of information gathering that will occur during the CTSA:

    1. Open discussion to elicit community concerns, opinions, and comments in an unstructured way (e.g., community listening sessions).
    2. Questions regarding community quality of life in order to identify specific concerns.
    3. Community Asset Mapping to inventory the capacities of individuals, civic associations, and local institutions.

    Asset mapping was emphasized by John McKnight ( Asset-Based Community Development Institute) at the presentation and training in March. He stated, “You don’t know what you need until you know what you have.”

     

    On July 20, the LPHSA Retreat was held at Tarrant County Public Health with 51 community partners attending. It was a great day of engaging dialogue that was at times intense and fun. Not only was the LPHSA successfully conducted, but so was the first CTSA Survey. The survey included a written survey as well as a 30-minute interactive session facilitated by the CTSA Subcommittee. Thank you to all who attended and volunteered. Congratulations to both the LPHSA and CTSA Subcommittees for a job well done!