our community's health priorities

The Statistics:

Lifespan within Douglas County varies by as much as 12 years, depending on which ZIP Code you live in.

1 in 6 Douglas County residents reports having to limit daily activity due to emotional, physical or mental issues. That’s enough people to fill the CenturyLink Center three times.

78% of early deaths in Douglas County are linked to preventable chronic diseases including heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

The Movement:

The Douglas County Health Department (DCHD) is a founding member of Live Well Omaha (LWO) and a co-creator of the Accountable Health Community (AHC) movement. Serving as the area’s Chief Health Strategist, the DCHD is working to advance health in all policies, leading the community health improvement plan and working to build of the capacity for clinical community connections that prevent illness and disease.

LWO is a catalyst movement for health that uses the power of communication and translation of data to help diverse groups of stakeholders work together on common issues. Starting at the root causes of health, LWO works to move policy, systems and environmental improvements that impact the health of this and future generations.

In our efforts to become an AHC, we are addressing the social determinants of health to prevent illness, improve quality of life and become the healthiest community and advance Nebraska as the healthiest state. This work is fueled by the many efforts underway throughout Douglas County including Heartland 2050, Douglas County Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) and other key initiatives.

The Priorities:

Conducted every three years, the Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) is a systematic, data-driven approach to determining the health status, behaviors and needs of residents in Douglas, Sarpy, Cass, and Pottawattamie counties. The CHNA data collected is being used by the community and the AHC to make informed decisions and guide the efforts to improve quality of life and prevent premature deaths. The Omaha metro is a unique community that rallies together to conduct one, shared community health needs assessment and share in the results. This survey asks area residents what health issues are burdening them and then asks the community prioritize key health issues and where we have existing assets to tackle the issue.

The AHC coalition has chosen four health priorities:

  1. Access to healthy foods
  2. Access to preventive care
  3. Healthy housing
  4. Safe communities

A diverse multi-sector coalition of health-related organizations and new partners from legal services, housing, etc. are coming together to ask our community to do business differently when it comes to health. Stay tuned as results-based measures are selected by the coalition and each of these priorities moves into action.