LAS VEGAS – The Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) was first introduced in August, and significant progress has been made since that time. The Southern Nevada Health District and its partners developed the plan to address public health disparities with an emphasis on three focus areas: access to care, policy and funding, and chronic diseases. Two key projects that have moved forward as a result of the plan include the Nurse Call Line and the Mobile Health Collaborative.
The Nurse Call Line is on schedule to be activated in July and was developed to minimize non-emergency calls to the 9-1-1 system and to allow non-emergency 9-1-1 callers to receive appropriate assistance and medical care. Participants in the CHIP process looked for a solution to assist the emergency response system with the many calls received through the 9-1-1 system that are not medical emergencies but rather calls that can be triaged by a nurse. The nurse will be able to provide health education, and health and social need referrals for non-emergency callers.
The Mobile Health Collaborative is another access to care program and will be used as a mechanism to provide guidance to clients so they can navigate health care programs and improve their own health. The Mobile Health Collaborative is planning to deliver services to communities of need with the goal of hosting several events per year, including in rural areas. Sites have been identified as ZIP codes with a scarcity of providers and a high level of health inequities. The Mobile Health Collaborative will partner with the private sector to provide primary care, mental health interventions, optional insurance sign-ups, and social needs assessments with intervention information.
“Implementation of these initial CHIP strategies is a testament to our community’s commitment to address these critical needs in Southern Nevada,” said Dr. Joe Iser, Southern Nevada Health District Chief Health Officer. “Access to care has been identified as one of the CHIP’s priorities, and these initiatives have been embraced by our public and private sector partners in an effort to make certain that some of our most vulnerable residents can maneuver through the health care system.”
The CHIP is being implemented over a three-year period through 2019. The Southern Nevada Health District will provide progress updates, and changes and revisions will be made to the CHIP as needed. To date, the CHIP committee members have made progress regarding access to care issues and have identified potential tools to help reduce disparities including the Nurse Call Line and the Mobile Health Collaborative.
The CHIP is the first, multi-agency Community Health Improvement Plan that serves as a template to address health disparities in Southern Nevada. It is a collaborative effort of government agencies, health care providers, non-profits, and academia with measures for success. The CHIP is available on the Healthy Southern Nevada website.