Health Action is the framework for a community engagement effort to get people involved in creating a healthier Sonoma County. It starts at home with a personal commitment. It continues at work and school with wellness-focus policies and opportunities that encourage healthy living. It culminates in the community with a shared vision for overall good health.
Health Action’s vision is that, by the year 2020, Sonoma County is a healthy place to live, work and play… a place where people thrive and achieve their life potential. The mission of Health Action is health improvement. Health Action mobilizes community partnerships and resources to focus on opportunities for action that are most likely to improve health status. Efforts of Health Action are supported by the backbone organization, Sonoma County’s Department of Health Services.
How do we make this happen? To achieve the 2020 Vision for Sonoma County, Health Action drew upon existing research to identify the following 10 goals that would significantly contribute to a healthier community:
- Youth graduate from high school on time.
- Families have the economic resources to make ends meet.
- Residents are connected to their communities and participate in community life.
- Residents eat healthy food.
- Residents are physically active.
- Residents do not abuse alcohol or prescription drugs and do not use tobacco or illicit drugs.
- Resident enjoy good mental health.
- Residents take steps to prevent injury.
- Residents have health care coverage.
- Residents are connected with a trusted source of prevention-focused primary care that coordinates patient care across the continuum of health care and community-based services.
None of these goals stands alone, but rather impact each other directly or indirectly. Community engagement on the deepest level can have a great return on the investment. The only way that will be possible is through true collaboration between systems, organizations and agencies in the corporate, government and nonprofit sectors.
Health Action recently developed its Action Plan (2013-2016) that will foster collaboration and bold action in the following three focus areas:
- Educational Attainment: New planning and mobilization to increase educational attainment in Sonoma County.
- Strengthening Primary Care and Coordination of Care across the continuum of local providers: A continuation and expansion of the work of the Primary Care Workgroup, an ad hoc workgroup of Health Action.
- Economic Security to assure that community members have sufficient income and the ability to have control of their life situation
In August 2007, the Sonoma County Board of Supervisors authorized the Department of Health Services to convene a health action council (now called "Health Action") to work on improving health and health care for all Sonoma County residents. Health Action's over-arching mission is community health improvement. Building on the interest and commitment of many community leaders, the Department of Health Services has recruited and convened a diverse, multidisciplinary group to identify priority health and health care issues and to develop specific recommendations on local approaches to promote the health of our community and improve the health care delivery system.