Brief History of Washington County Wellness Initiative, Inc.
The residents of Washington County came together in January, 2004 to talk about community needs and concerns. Forty-five individuals attended the first meeting from various community sectors including concerned citizens, businesses, government, social services, schools, law enforcement, neighborhoods, faith community, youth serving organizations, health care, and tribal. The group identified areas of concern which included: access for adult indigent health care, lack of affordable health care, lack of adult counseling and mental health issues, need for employee health/wellness programs, lack of affordable housing, lack of dental care, lack of transportation, high costs of medications, need for youth prevention programs, late/no prenatal care especially in the Hispanic population, as well as, medical/health literacy issues among Hispanics, need for advocacy on health issues, daycare for teen moms, children not getting immunized, and the need to educate voters on current issues. In an effort to respond to these concerns, the group formed the WCWI with a mission to strengthen and transform the public health infrastructure in Washington County. The WCWI is an Oklahoma Turning Point Coalition formed as part of the Oklahoma State Department of Health, Office of Public Health Innovation, Oklahoma Turning Point Community Partnerships initiative. WCWI has grown to a diverse group of 190 public health partners.
Since that first meeting, the WCWI membership has grown to over 190 community partners from over 20 different community sectors. In December 2010, the Washington County Health Department and the WCWI began a strategy to improve the county’s health through a process called Mobilizing for Action toward Planning and Partnership. This again involved a Community Health Assessment administered countywide and the end result would be a Community Health Improvement Plan. The process included: Vision for Washington County, Four Community Based Assessments, Identification of Strategic Issues, and Formulation of Goals and Strategies. In May 2011, the data from the assessments was presented to the Initiative and four subcommittees were formed: 1) Health Care; 2) Mental Health; 3) Poverty; and 4) Lifestyle and Prevention. Each subcommittee has formulated Goals and Strategies and is working on implementation.
The Public Health Institute of Oklahoma (PHIO) has established a certification process to launch a system of county health improvement organizations (CHIOs) throughout the state which can: a) assess and prioritize the health and health care needs of their communities; b) request external assistance; and c) attract sufficient funding to hire or contract for resources (e.g. care managers, registry operators, community health workers, information technology and consultants, pharmacy consultants, etc.) as needed to support primary care and community health. The WCWI was the first organization in the State of Oklahoma to receive certification as a County Health Improvement Organization (CHIO). The WCWI is now one of eighteen CHIOs that form the ground floor of a statewide network that will be able to acquire and develop the resources needed for improving the health care services and health of communities. With assistance from PHIO and University of Oklahoma Department of Family and Community Medicine, WCWI is developing a sustainable quality improvement (QI) support system for primary care providers within our service area including performance evaluation/feedback, identification/spread of best practices, academic detailing, and practice facilitation, coordinated by PHIO with the support of educational institutions.
Washington County Wellness Initiative, Inc. Board Members
Vice President: Michael Woods, MD
Secretary: Deb Cook, RN
Treasurer: Roseanne Shveima
Annual Meeting: 9 December 2015, 3PM-4:30PM
Meeting Location: Bartlesville Regional United Way
CHIO Sector Representatives:
Legal Sector Representative: Vacant
Children Sector Representative: Lori Moynihan, RN
Business Sector Representative: Sherri Wilt
Social Services Sector Representative: Sam Westfall
Public Health Sector Representative: Vacant
Tribal Sector Representative: Vacant
Law Enforcement Sector Representative: Vacant
Elderly Sector Representative: Mike Fogle
Minority Sector Representative: Milagros Cappelletti
OK Turning Point Sector Representative: Fauzia Khan
Faith Sector Representative: Roger Alexander
Schools Sector Representative: Vacant
Media Sector Representative: Emily Droege
Mental Health Sector Representative: Charles Danley (Kim Hill, Delegate)
Technology Sector Representative: Vacant
Volunteer Sector Representative: Vacant
Nonprofit Sector Representative: Jody Burch