Encourage the continued work of the Health Commission to assist in building community partnerships that promote affordable quality health care for the underserved.
The Healthy Living Alliance is a network of community organizations working to reduce barriers to healthy, active living. Established objectives with specific measurable outcomes and strategies for the following areas:
- Access to Appropriate Care
- Advocate for Transformation of Medicaid
- Develop Referral System for Appropriate Care
- Improve Pathways for Healthcare Careers
- Increase GOCAPS Medicine Healthcare Track
- Social Determinants of Health
- Reduce Poverty and Improve Quality of Life in Council Zone 1
- Engage and Participate in Efforts to Create Smoke-free Laws in Missouri
- Mental Health
- Complete Comprehensive Mental Health Assessment
- Active Living and Healthy Eating
- Adopt a Growth Management and Land Use Plan that Includes Health Considerations
Integrated System of Services Participants
Meets regularly with a stronger focus on mental health issues and services for those without homes.
The Health Commission developed and implemented a sophisticated process of community health assessment and planning for the region in 2010. The Impacting Poverty Commission endorses continuing the Health Commission’s practice of data collection and analysis and identifying health issues of primary concern.
Research under the direction of Springfield-Greene County Health Department, design and begin implementation of a Springfield Public Schools Social Worker Program to help under-resourced families meet basic needs, reduce mobility and help school staff work with families in crisis.
The Commission encourages exploration of the community case management services for priority populations, with an emphasis on dental and mental health and substance abuse, coordinated by Cox Health, Mercy Jordan Valley Community Health Center and Ozark’s Community Hospital. A pilot program would include assigning patient navigator/community health advocates to individuals, possibly from the same geographic boundaries.
Coordinated Case Management System
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MO Foundation for Health grant was received by Community Partnership of the Ozarks to start training, in 2018, with 7 of the 15 entities that were included in the grant for the “Connect Springfield” Service Point system. Cox Health, Greene County Health Dept. and Jordan Valley received a grant as well. In two years, the entities from both grant recipients will see how the two systems can connect. Current entities receiving HUD funding to help those without homes already use the HMIS system.
The Commission encourages the City of Springfield to analyze the built environment within geographic boundaries of priority populations and address life safety issues. Create an action plan to address any issues and to increase the number of free recreational / exercise spaces within geographic boundaries of priority population.
The Commission encourages all major employers to offer Health Risk Assessments and health screenings to their employees. Additionally, the Commission encourages our health care institutions to offer similar screenings to the rest of the public at low cost, as possible.
The Commission encourages study by the Springfield-Greene County Health Department to develop a regional health assessment, based on demographics and health indicators of priority populations. Further, the Commission encourages the leveraging of technology, including telemedicine, to attempt to improve specific poor health indicators, with an emphasis on dental and mental health and substance abuse.
The Commission endorses the work of a group of local nonprofit agencies and health advocates, spearheaded by Burrell Behavioral Health, to locate a one-stop shop (using a clubhouse model) to provide coordinated services for the homeless and mentally ill under-resourced.
The Springfield-Greene County Health Department’s immunization center and the former Westside Public Health Center facility reopened in September 2017 as a one-stop family health care shop with partners from Jordan Valley Community Health Center, WIC, nursing services and others. Services include primary care, prenatal case management, special care infant services. Collectively, the services are called the Nest Partnership, which seeks to Nurture, Empower, Support and Teach families (Zone Blitz).
The Commission endorses the continuation of programs such as the Springfield-Greene County Health Department’s Community Health Advocate program and CoxHealth’s Community Paramedic Program.
In 2015, the City of Springfield and numerous community partners began the Zone Blitz to improve the quality of life within the most vulnerable parts of our community. Coordinated with this effort, the Community Health Advocate program is expanding to cover ten neighborhoods with three staff in this part of the community. As the program grows, the Springfield-Greene County Health Department looks to strengthen the continuum of care by providing coordinated follow up to individuals connected with the Community Health Advocate program. With this in place, individuals who face significant challenges will have someone to walk beside them as they improve their health and quality of life.
The Commission supports the work of the Healthy Living Alliance, including the Walkability Project, for helping to identify issues concerning the built environment and barriers to low-cost wellness activities, such as walking and playing.
The Health Living Alliance had an objective to create healthier workplaces through wellness. From April to May 2018, participants completed the walking challenge that included a website with great tools. Over 1,400 people were part of the challenge and over 172,000 miles were walked.
Several playgrounds, at parks, were added or expanded that included Cooper, Meador and Nichols Parks. Springfield-Greene County Park Board was instrumental in assisting partner organizations with hosting and promoting activities for Zone 1 children. In addition, a team of people representing 12 different agencies that offered low or no-cost extracurricular activities, was convened to collaborate and share ideas. Wellness projects that taught Zone 1 kids that they were important, while teaching them how to be healthy and have fun included: Run for Fun Club, free Tai Chi at two libraries, Yoga Wednesdays, 3-on-3 Basketball at Grant Beach Park, and a Play It Forward musical instrument drive.
The Commission encourages a three-pronged approach to addressing nutritional needs: 1) Increase access to healthy food by adding and promoting community gardens; 2) Increase the number of SNAP applicants and 3) develop a plan to address the city’s “food deserts.” A pilot project in the identified geographical boundaries would be coordinated by the Springfield-Greene County Health Department, assisted by partners.
- Springfield Community Gardens has multiple gardens throughout the community and especially in Zone 1. These gardens serve as a key connector for neighborhoods, families and individuals around food.
- Doors reopened at the Price Cutter location at 712 W. Commercial Street on March 30, 2016 after closing in early 2015, addressing the food desert in the area.
- Several entities donate food and produce to Ozarks Food Harvest through their Retail Pick Up Program. They partner with retailers to rescue food that is no longer sellable but does remain safe for consumption.
- Northwest Project provides dinner as part of their programming and with the opening of the Springfield Dream Center in March 2017, free weekly community dinners are provided as well as a Crosslines satellite food pantry, expected to serve about 70 people a day.
- The NAACP partnered with several churches and Ozarks Food Harvest for mobile food pantries.
- Springfield Public Schools offers a summer meal program at several schools.
- Ozarks Food Harvest is part of the national organization, Feeding America Network of Food, which serves every county in the U.S. Ozarks Food Harvest provides food to 28 counties in the Ozarks, working with 250 agencies. In 2013, mobile food pantries were established in Zone 1 and in 2015, more fresh produced was provided to pantries. They also assist families and individuals apply for SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program).