Hamilton County Public Health Nursing Service
The Hamilton County Public Health Nursing Service (HCPHNS) provides public health and home health care services within Hamilton County, New York. HCPHNS is governed and financially supported by the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors, in cooperation with and under the regulation of, the New York State Department of Health.
The Hamilton County Public Health Nursing Service is committed to providing preventative and restorative health services to the residents and guests of Hamilton County.
Statement of Philosophy
Service will be provided in the home and clinic setting in compliance with all federal, state and local laws, rules and regulations with the overall goal of establishing a competent public health system within Hamilton County. The Hamilton County Public Health Nursing Service believes in the inherent right of every resident of Hamilton County to have readily accessible and available quality, comprehensive health care within this rural setting. To this end, the Hamilton County Public Health Nursing Service will provide Public Health Programs, Home Health Care Services, Women, Infant and Children Nutritional Services (WIC), and Programs for Children with Special Needs. The Hamilton County Public Health Nursing Service promotes cooperative efforts with other health care providers, agencies and community resources for the betterment of the individual resident and their family. The individual and their family will be ultimately responsible for their decisions regarding their health, and the agency is respectful of the decisions made. The Hamilton County Public Health Nursing Service believes each individual should enjoy the highest attainable standard of health regardless of race, creed, religion, political belief, sexual orientation, marital status, economic or social condition, age, gender, or disability.
Core Services of Public Health
- Assessment and monitoring of the health of the community and populations at risk to identify health problems and priorities.
- Policy Development in collaboration with community and government leaders, to solve identified local and national health problems and priorities.
- Assuring that all populations have access to appropriate and cost-effective care, including health promotion and disease prevention services, and evaluation of effectiveness of that care.
10 Essential Services of Public Health
- Monitor health status to identify community health problems
- Diagnose and investigate health problems and health hazards in the community
- Inform, educate and empower people about health issues
- Mobilize community partnerships to identify and solve health problems
- Develop policies and plans that support individual and community health efforts
- Enforce laws and regulations that protect health and ensure safety
- Link people to needed personal health services and assure the provision of health care when otherwise unavailable
- Assure a competent public health and personal health care workforce
- Evaluate effectiveness, accessibility and quality of personal and population-based health services
- Research for new insights and innovative solutions to health problems
NYS Prevention Agenda
Former New York State Department of Health Commissioner Richard F. Danes, MD, launched a Prevention Agenda for the Healthiest State to support the goals of health care reform. This agenda sets ten statewide public health priorities and asks local health departments, hospitals and other community partners to work together to address them. The emphasis of this public health initiative is on prevention strategies to improve the health of all New Yorkers and foster healthy communities. Priorities include: Access to Quality Health Care; Chronic Disease; Community Preparedness; Healthy Environment; Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies, Healthy Children; Infectious Disease; Mental Health and Substance Abuse; Physical Activity and Nutrition; Tobacco Use; Unintentional Injury.
One goal of the Prevention Agenda is to prevent health problems before they occur, or before they worsen. Another goal of the Prevention Agenda is to involve a wide range of organizations and community members in developing community health plans that identify and address problems that affect the health of New Yorkers. The Prevention Agenda calls on local health departments and hospitals to identify two or three of the ten Prevention Agenda priorities and to do work with community providers, insurers, community based organizations and others to address them. Statewide program and policy initiatives will complement local efforts. This is achieved through the community health assessment process.
Community Health Needs Assessment
Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) is a core function of public health agencies and a fundamental tool of public health practice. Its aim is to describe the health of the community by presenting information on health status including epidemiologic and other studies of current local health problems, community health needs, health care and community resources. It seeks to identify target populations that may be at increased risk of poor health outcomes and to gain a better understanding of their needs, as well as assess the larger community environment and how it can help play a role in addressing the health needs of individuals in the community. The Community Health Needs Assessment process also identifies those areas where better information is needed, especially information on health disparities among different sub-populations, quality of health care, and the occurrence and severity of disabilities in the population. Community Health Needs Assessment is a continuous, interactive local process. The goal is not to produce a static document. The process involves continuously scanning the local health environment for changes in conditions and emerging health issues.
The Community Health Needs Assessmnet should be the basis for all local public health planning. A CHNA gives the local health department the opportunity to identify and interact with other health care providers, key community leaders, organizations and interested residents about health priorities and concerns. This community/public health planning process can form the basis of improving the health status of the community.
HCPHNS has joined with members of the Adirondack Rural Health Network (ARHN) to enhance capabilities associated with conducting a Community Health Needs Assessment. The ARHN is a community partnership of public, private and non-profit organizations in upstate New York. The misson of the ARHN is to undertake community health activities that are best accomplished through collective efforts of member organizations focusing on health problems of greatest concern, addressing the health needs of under-served populations, and adding value to the regional health care system. The ARHN creates a collaborative process for developing strategies and for implementing, monitoring and evaluating the regional health care system. Learn more about the Adirondack Rural Health Network at www.arhn.org
HCPHNS actively participates in the regional group, facilitated by the ARHN, that has provided the forum for area hospitals, local health departments and community-based organizations to conduct a comprehensive health assessment and take part in a regional planning process to address the New York State Department of Health Commissioner's public health priorities identified in the Prevention Agenda toward the Healthiest State.
The regional effort creates a synergy that allows all of the members to more towards common goals in a way that is both efficient and effective. ARHN provides a much needed forum for the various community partners to share resources and collaborate on the development of a comprehensive collection and analysis of data regarding the health issues and needs in Essex, Fulton, Hamilton, Saratoga, Warren and Washington counties. Because of this regional effort, funding is available to contract for expertise in statistics and data capture, essential parts of a community health needs assessment process. The second part of the CHNA process is to identify areas of need or concerns specific to Hamilton County.