Health is such a basic need it impacts every aspect of a person’s daily life. A child with a toothache is unable to concentrate in school and succeed. A family without health insurance is often overwhelmed to the point of bankruptcy by the financial burdens of an illness.
In 2005, United Way of Monmouth County joined the community driven strategic planning process to improve the health and quality of life in Monmouth County known as MAPP (Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships). Their work resulted in the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) for Monmouth County which detailed specific goals and strategies for the most critical health related issues in our community. Four of the six strategic issues in the CHIP report are closely aligned with the targeted issues selected the UWMC Health Impact Subcommittee, they are:
• Barriers to Healthcare
• Comprehensive Health Care Despite the High Cost of Living in Monmouth County
• Tobacco, Drugs, & Alcohol
• Transportation Barriers
The CHIP report specifically notes that due to the cost of living in our county many residents spend the majority of their income on housing and living expenses, with little left for healthcare priorities. These costs are often exacerbated by a lack of healthcare insurance. Healthcare coverage not only impacts a person’s ability to access primary and preventative healthcare services, but also affects other key areas such as education and income. According to the Institute of Medicine, children with health coverage are better prepared to learn in school and succeed in life. Furthermore, a lack of healthcare coverage often means a lack of primary and preventing care—leading to increased on-the-job absences by adults.
We must focus on ensuring everyone has access to affordable and quality care so they can lead safe, healthy and rewarding lives.
A presentation and discussion on the Health Impact plan was held on November 12, 2009.
A Mandatory Technical Assistance meeting, for those interested in applying for Health Impact funding was held on April 8, 2010. At that meeting the following RFP’s were discussed and distributed which were developed as part of the Health Impact plan:
- Access to dental care
- High risk behaviors
All agencies interested in applying for Health Impact funding through these RFP’s must have attended the Technical Assistance meeting.