VNA preparing public health plan for Moffat, Routt counties


In other action …

At its regular meeting Tuesday, the Moffat County Commission:

• Approved, 3-0, a western securities contract with the Museum of Northwest Colorado; notice of award for the Craig-Moffat County Airport apron rehabilitation project; and a window replacement contract with APH Construction, among other documents.

• Heard a request from Tammy Barnes, of the Bears Ears Tea Party Patriots, for use of the picnic area at the Moffat County Fairgrounds for an Aug. 2 public forum and barbecue.

• Heard an update on the containment of recent area fires from Moffat County Sheriff Tim Jantz.

• Approved, 3-0, the purchase of YTIME Now, LLC timekeeping software.

• Approved, 3-0, a bid from Roy Tipton, of Developmental Services, for exterior painting of the Moffat County Courthouse.

• Approved, 3-0, a request for a special event liquor license for the Colorado State BBQ Championships and Moffat County Balloon Festival for the event’s beer garden from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Aug. 4 at Loudy-Simpson Park.

• Approved, 3-0, a $500 sponsorship for the Coal & Power Generation conference Aug. 14, including assistance with transportation for the event.

The Moffat County Commission got a look at health concerns most pressing for the area Tuesday when Yvette Joyce, of the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association, presented the preliminary outline for a Public Health Improvement Plan for Moffat and Routt counties.

Joyce is a performance improvement and health data specialist for the VNA and a health planner for the Office of Planning and Partnerships through the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment.

“CDPHE has asked us as a local health agency to prioritize public health issues so they can standardize and process plans in an effort to make sure that all the agencies in Colorado are going through the same steps, if not necessarily coming up with the same public health issues everywhere,” she said.

On behalf of the CDPHE, Colorado Health Assessment and Planning System, the VNA has collected health data of Northwest Colorado to select areas of public health it plans to target for improvement.

Although the data is still being organized, the organization has four main points that are a priority to Moffat and Routt Counties: unintended pregnancy, unintentional injury, and mental health for each, as well as environmental health for Routt.

Joyce said these issues were selected because of their prevalence in the area and the need for additional efforts in treating them.

“These are things where there’s something missing,” she said. “Obesity was one that didn’t make it into this plan, not because it’s not important, but we are already addressing in other avenues, like LiveWell for healthy body weight and a really extensive diabetes program about how they correlate.”

Joyce briefed commissioners about initial ideas for confronting the selected issues, such as making effective birth control more readily available at affordable costs to those concerned about pregnancy, improving resources to treat depression and other mental health issues, and educating the public on safety to avoid preventable accidents.

Joyce touched on environmental health, treatment of which includes more detailed monitoring of air and water quality, a tactic that will be implemented in Routt County only.

Commissioner Audrey Danner said she had previously weighed in with the VNA about focusing on environmental health in Moffat County as part of the program.

“We use the state for our environmental health review and programs and Routt County has their own specific department to do that,” Danner said.

Joyce agreed with Danner that since the VNA doesn’t have the same methods available for monitoring environmental data in Moffat County that it was better left separate.

Joyce is still compiling data from these factions of the health industry.

She said she will have a more comprehensive analysis by August when she releases the Public Health Improvement Plans for Moffat and Routt counties.

“In this process, we ask not only, ‘Is this an important issue?,’ but ‘Do we have the ability to impact it?’” she said. “We’re in the beginning stage for all these priorities, but the goal is to reduce each of them to a reasonable level over the next five years.

We’ll be measuring and reporting on them over all that time.” Danner said she believes Joyce’s more detailed plan will be beneficial to the health of all Northwest Colorado residents. “I definitely look forward to reading it,” she said.

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