Public Health by the Numbers: Assessment, Planning and Evaluation
“Assessment is an essential function of a public health agency. It’s about using data to make good decisions and wise investments of public dollars.”
The information below provides links between assessment and Benton-Franklin Health District (BFHD) programs and services. Included are: internal and external health indicators that are measured over time, importance of identifying top causes of morbidity and mortality, links to Vital Records (births and deaths), Preventive Health and Environmental Health information, and more. New reports are added as data are made available.
With the goal to improve the quality of public health services provided, BFHD participated in a recent local process to assess community wide health priorities and developed a plan to take action to address them in collaboration with a multitude of community partners. This occurred from 2011-2014. These can be found by clicking on the links below or by going back to the BFHD home page (www.bfhd.wa.gov).
How to obtain Vital Records in Benton & Franklin Counties
As a public health agency we strive to affect health on a population level through both Environmental and Preventive Health programs. At Benton-Franklin Health District, we work to understand the characteristics of all people within Benton and Franklin Counties, and observe population changes over time. Population characteristics such as age, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status, level of education, etc. are often referred to as demographics. While larger communities are able to look at disease occurrence by different demographics, this degree of information is limited for Benton and Franklin Counties. However, there are reports at the state and national level that generalize health disparities between different age groups, genders, level of income/education, race/ethnicity, etc.
Health of Washington State Report
Washington State Department of Health Chronic Disease Profiles by Race/Ethnicity and by County
National Institutes of Health: Hispanic Community Health Study Data Book: A Report to the Communities
Personal behavior with its associated risks or benefits to health is an important factor in determining individual and family health status. Two key sources of data used to monitor the health-related behaviors of Benton County and Franklin County adults and youth are the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) and the Healthy Youth Survey (HYS). The BRFSS is conducted annually across the United States and surveys behaviors of adults (age 18 years and older). Meanwhile, the HYS is conducted every other year (2008, 2010, 2012, etc.) in Washington State surveying youth in sixth, eighth, tenth and twelfth grades.
Washington State Department of Health: Fact Sheets
Communicable Disease Prevention and Surveillance:
BFHD provides recommendations for adults and children to obtain immunizations from a plethora of infectious diseases. The health district is responsible to help track communicable diseases associated with foodborne illness outbreaks, tracking flu activity, monitoring, treating, and referring for diseases like tuberculosis (TB) and Chlamydia.
Evidence continues to mount in support of connections between health status and risk exposure in early life and health-related outcomes throughout the life-course (pre-conception to death). Measures of maternal and child health remain as key indicators of overall population health status. BFHD reviews factors such as time of initiation of prenatal care, low birth weight, babies who are born premature, babies with developmental disabilities, causes of infant death (deaths to babies within the first two years of life), etc. BFHD programs provide assessment, intervention and follow-up for parent education, nutrition consultation, and linkages to community resources.
In 2013, BFHD provided approximately 12,251 families with evidence based nutrition education. This includes breastfeeding promotion and support, information about diet recommendations during pregnancy and post-birth for the mother and how long to breastfeed babies as well as when to introduce solid foods to baby. WIC identifies families in greatest need of grocery vouchers that can be spent at local Farmers Markets and grocery stores. In 2013, local grocery stores received $4.9 million to provide groceries to these families in need. These dollars support purchase of only healthy, nutritious foods as indicated in most stores.
Washington State Department of Health-New WIC Page
BFHD has trained an average of 9,190 food workers per year between 2007 and 2013 (approximately 64,327food workers trained since 2007). Most of these food workers were trained in-person, however, in 2013; an option to obtain a food worker card online became possible. BFHD remains one of the only Local Health Districts in Washington State to continue providing in-person food worker classes as an important component of safe food handling practices.
BFHD works with local food businesses, state and federal government regulators, and the community to reduce the rate of foodborne illness. In 2013, more than 3,935 food inspections were conducted in local restaurants, grocery stores, and schools. Education is provided to reduce the risk of illness and injury from poisons, animal-borne diseases, and other unsafe conditions in the environment. Information on these programs is also tracked internally for quality improvement and customer satisfaction purposes Click on any of the title phrases above for more information.
Land, Water and Waste:
The health district works to address and inform the public about onsite sewage, solid waste disposal, subdivision land use, drinking water, swimming pools, and more. We track the number of interactions, satisfactory drinking water samples, and ensure that swimming pools are safe to swim in. Information on these programs is tracked internally for quality improvement and customer satisfaction purposes.
More Environmental Health:
West Nile Virus Information
Learn More: (Links to Other Public Health Information)
United States Census Bureau/American Community Survey
Healthy Youth Survey
The Guide to Community Preventive Services: The Community Guide- What works to Promote Health
National Prevention Strategy
Thank You for visiting! Reports are updated as data becomes available.
Last updated 3/5/2014 by R.S., MPH