Thursday, June 20, 2024
HomeHealth & FitnessCook County Public Health Releases Draft of 2023-2027 Health Assessment

Cook County Public Health Releases Draft of 2023-2027 Health Assessment

The State of Minnesota requires community health boards to determine public health prior­ities and focus local resources on the greatest community and organizational needs using an assessment and planning process that engages the community. The five year cycle is to follow a circular process of assessment, prioritization, planning and implementation.

Cook County Public Health staff is tasked with facilitating this process to assess the health and well-being of the Cook County community while engaging the community in determining priority areas of health to improve over the next five years.

The health department presented a draft of its 2023-2027 Community Health Assessment (CHA) at a meeting last Wednesday at the Community Center. The meeting was intend­ed to discuss the Draft Assessment and give the public opportunities to engage with local health data more deeply. You may access the draft CHA at the Cook County Public Health and Human Services website (www.co.cook. mn.us).

Another meeting is planned for July 13 with an in-person component at the Community Center from 1:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. This meet­ing will focus on moving from the community health data to developing shared goals and pri­ority health areas for the next five years.

Grace Grinager, Public Health Supervisor for the county looks to build broad representation and participation in this important process. She may be contacted by phone at 218-387-3605 and email at grace.grinager@co.cook.mn.us.

The 2017 health assessment process high­lighted a few priority health area goals for at­tention. That plan is posted on the county web­site. Specifically, goals were:

  • People can access behavioral health ser­vices when they need them
  • People who have experienced substance abuse have support to move toward recov­ery
  • All community members have safe and sta­ble housing
  • Community members of all ages and abili­ties can access specialty services
  • Elders experience support to age in our community
  • Families with Young Children Experience community support

With a population estimated at 5,600 resi­dents, Cook County ranks 81st of Minnesota’s 87 counties. It ranks 12th largest in land area with more than 1400 square miles.

According to a survey recently conducted by Wilder Research, a nonprofit research and evaluation group based in St. Paul, when com­pared with the State of Minnesota, Cook Coun­ty has a higher percentage of people between 55 and 64 years of age (17.9%) and those aged 65 and older (28.5%).

Steve Fernlund
Steve Fernlund
Typically these “about me” pages include a list of academic achievements (I have none) and positions held (I have had many, but who really cares about those?) So, in the words of the late Admiral James Stockwell, “Who am I? Why am I here?” I’m well into my seventh decade on this blue planet we call home. I’m a pretty successful husband, father, and grandfather, at least in my humble opinion. My progeny may disagree. We have four children and five grandchildren. I spent most of my professional life in the freight business. At the tender age of 40, early retirement beckoned and we moved to Grand Marais. A year after we got here, we bought and operated the Cook County News Herald, a weekly newspaper in Grand Marais. A sharp learning curve for a dumb freight broker to become a newspaper editor and publisher. By 1999 the News Herald was an acquisition target for a rapidly consolidating media market. We sold our businesses and “retired” again, buying a winter retreat in Nevada. In the fall of 2016, we returned to Grand Marais and bought a house from old friends of ours on the ridge overlooking Lake Superior. They were able to move closer to family and their Mexico winter home. And we came home to what we say is our last house. I’m a strong believer in the value of local newspapers--both online and those you can wrap a fish in. I write a weekly column and a couple of feature stories for the Northshore Journal. I’m most interested in writing about the everyday lives of local people and reporting on issues of importance to them.
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