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Originally published in Castine Patriot, October 25, 2018 and Island Ad-Vantages, October 25, 2018 and The Weekly Packet, October 25, 2018
Public forums to discuss County Health Profile

Stakeholders from across Hancock County have an opportunity this month to shape and select priorities for community health during a special forum aimed at providing input to the region’s healthcare organizations.

The forums will discuss the Hancock County Health Profile. Community members are invited to attend a forum on Tuesday, October 30, 9 to 11 a.m. at the Moore Community Center, 133 State Street, in Ellsworth. The Hancock County Health Profile contains almost 200 data points that describe health outcomes, health behaviors, healthcare access and quality, and the social, community, and physical environment that affect our health. Previous forums were held in 2011 and 2015.

Representatives of Northern Light Blue Hill Hospital, Northern Light Maine Coast Hospital, and Mount Desert Island Hospital are eager to share this data and get their neighbors’ input about what they see as the county’s biggest health issues. New this year, the presentation will also include a list of past priorities and what partners have been doing to address them.

In addition to collecting input on local health priorities, the forum will also collect information about local resources that could help to address those priorities. Forums and other community feedback will be used as guidance to create new, county-specific health improvement plans in the spring of 2019. As in the past, this forum is an important step in the Maine Shared Community Health Needs Assessment (Maine Shared CHNA). For more information on Maine Shared CHNA, visit mainechna.org. The website will also host the final CHNA reports due for release in March 2019.