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Top five Pierce County health issues unveiled

February 5, 2014

Partners in Pierce County CHIP take major step in health planning effort today

TACOMA, Wash. - What are Pierce County's top five health issues? According to the just unveiled Pierce County Community Health Assessment data findings, they are mental health, substance abuse, access to quality health services, health disparities, and protecting and improving the environment.

Earlier today, approximately 120 community and health leaders gathered at University of Washington-Tacoma's Philip Hall to learn about the data findings that reveal the county's most pressing health issues. The group also took initial steps in using the information to prioritize countywide health improvement efforts.

Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department conducted the year-long community health assessment in partnership with MultiCare Health System, Franciscan Health System and the University of Washington-Tacoma Nursing & Healthcare Leadership and Social Work programs. The assessment process included input from community residents, leaders, and partners, as well as extensive health data and survey information.

"The Community Health Assessment process gave those of us who focus on our community's health every day the opportunity to hear our own community's vision for what better health in Pierce County would look like," said Anthony L-T Chen, MPH, MD, director of health. "From diverse voices, we consistently heard about these challenges. Now it is time for our community partners and others to work together to turn these ideas into a clear roadmap for our future."

The Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) will be that road map. It will provide valuable information on the county’s top health priorities in order to address them as effectively as possible. Community partners can use the information for their strategic planning, budget preparation, collaboration, grant writing and other efforts. Core planning partners anticipate a June completion date for this long-term, strategic plan to address major health problems.

For more information on the CHIP, visit You can also download a copy of the Community Health Status Assessment: .

Edie Jeffers, Communications Manager, (253) 798-2853, (253) 405-6822,
Karen Meyer, Community Liaison Specialist, (253) 798-4581,

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