During its regular meeting Tuesday night, the Barren County Medical Society listened to a speaker talk about how community members and health care professionals can take steps to examine and overcome a community’s most detrimental health issues.
Dennis Chaney, district director for the Barren River District Health Department, presented a discussion to the society about MAPP, Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships. MAPP has been a strategy used by the Barren River Community Health Planning Council, a group that brings together people from Allen, Barren, Butler, Edmonson, Hart, Logan, Metcalfe, Monroe, Simpson and Warren counties, in fields ranging from health care to education to business, to form plans of actions to fight prevalent health problems in the area.
When looking to make a difference in the community’s health, Chaney said the first question to address is what one thinks of community health, and then whether a person is aware of what resources are available in the community to help. Even in the health care community, Chaney said there may be medical professionals who do not know about every local option that can help them practice medicine. The health department, as well as others, organizes a variety of health care and safety resources.
The idea for the Barren River Community Health Planning Council came about as early as October 2010, Chaney said, but the group was organized in September 2011. The council started meeting twice a month, developing its goals for a MAPP program. Included in the council were school superintendents, hospital administrators, elected officials, business leaders and non-profit activists. Once organized, the council set out to complete MAPP assessments of the counties in the area. The thought behind the assessments was that to make real change, the council needed to compile data and use evidence-based decisions to impact community health, Chaney said.
“It takes a community to effect change,” Chaney said.
Read more of this story in the print or e-Edition of the Glasgow Daily Times on Thursday.