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CHIP presents health improvement plan

As part of the monthly Lake Health District’s board meeting that took place Thursday, Aug. 8, the Lake County Health Improvement Partnership (CHIP) presented their program’s annual goals to board members.

John Adams, Lakeview CHIP coordinator, went over four specific health issues that affect Lake County residents. After qualitative and quantitative surveys that were conducted in the county, issues of oral health, mental health, physical activity and senior service were the areas that needed the most attention.

CHIP will be partnering with Advantage Health and Oregon Health Authority to implement fluoride varnish programs to eligible school-aged children. The program will also target adult dental and dental education.

Mental health will be a priority for CHIP as they have seen self reported depression patients often go untreated. CHIP plans to partner with Lake County Mental Health to integrate behavior health and mental health into primary care. This intervention aims to integrate a mental health provider with Lake County Medical Clinic, Warner Mountain Medical Clinic and the North Lake Clinic.

The third issue Adams discussed was a lack of physical activity around the community. CHIP plans on conducting health education, promotion and outreach including 50 scholarships to low-income individuals with high-risk factors for heart disease over an 8-month period. Their long-term strategy includes a parks and recreation program coordinated and centralized facilities and programming. Lastly, Lake County’s senior population will be assisted with CHIP in conjunction with Lake County Senior Center to increase effort in the Home Delivery Program, Transportation, including the Dispatch Agency and Dial-a-Ride programs and KLCCOA Home Care program. They also plan on partnering with Lake Health District to establish an assisted living facility in Lake County.

“The CHIP program’s success wouldn’t have happened if John (Adams) wasn’t the key driver,” said Charles Tveit, CEO of Lake District Health.  Adams continued to list the many benefits that the CHIP program will bring including health and economics. He also stated that the Affordable Health Care Act makes programs like CHIP a standard for non-profit hospitals.

Chairman of the Board, Chuck Kelley, asked Adams if the program considered nutrition concerns for low-income peoples. Adams responded saying that it was one consideration before narrowing down the options to four. He added that the physical activity division would be taking on that aspect of health with their side of the program. Tveit said that the CHIP program would benefit the LDH because it gives more information about the services that they offer. He also said that all hospitals are going through this metamorphosis of offering further services to the community. “We, as a hospital, are changing,” Tveit said.

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