Get Healthy Meigs! (GHM!) was formed in 2015 by the Meigs County Health Department (MCHD) due to State requirements that all Health Departments in Ohio gain and retain national Accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board (PHAB) by July 2020. Some of the requirements of the Accreditation process include collaborating with other organizations including health care and hospitals, social services, and community members to create and implement the Community Health Assessment (CHA) and Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). Approximately 50 organizations, both in and out of Meigs County, have participated with GHM! in some manner. The Meigs County Commissioners approved a Resolution in 2017 supporting CHIP initiatives. The Commissioners provided additional support in 2019 when GHM! opted to apply to become a 501c3 organization. The application was successful, which will allow GHM! to apply for grants that require 501c3 status.
The MCHD contracted with Ohio University’s Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs to assist with the first stages of the Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships (MAPP) and CHA process. MAPP is a six-stage strategic planning process for improving community health. The first CHA was introduced in September 2015 after nine months of assessing information from data collection, surveys, and interviews. Five priority areas emerged from the information that was gathered including Substance Abuse and Behavioral Health, Workforce Development, Chronic Disease, Healthy Behaviors, Maternal and Child Health. These priority areas became the foundation for the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP), which was finalized in June 2017. The MCHD contracted with the University of Rio Grande to continue the MAPP process and to finalize the CHIP.
Subcommittees consisting of GHM! volunteers worked to execute GHM!’s Mission “to improve the overall health and well-being of Meigs County” by implementing the goals and strategies assigned to each of the five priority areas. While not all goals and strategies were completed, significant progress was made on most.
While PHAB guidelines say a new CHA and CHIP has to be done every five years, Ohio law states that they have to be done every three years, and include a Regional partnership with the local hospitals. As a result, the MCHD began a new CHA process that included Holzer Health System and Gallia, Jackson, and Vinton County Health Departments. The CHA was completed in 2019. Planning for the next CHIP has been put on hold due to COVID-19 restrictions and closures.
GHM! meets the third Thursday in January, May, and September in the 3rd floor conference room at the Meigs County Job and Family Services. However, these meeting dates and location are subject to change. The next regularly scheduled meeting will be September 17. Guest speakers are welcome to attend the meetings to talk about what their organization offers. Community members are also welcome to attend the meetings. If interested, please call the Meigs County Health Department at (740) 992-6626 for more information.
Michelle Willard is an administrative assistant and accreditation coordinator at the Meigs County Health Department.