Florida MAPP is a community-wide strategic planning process for improving community health and local public health systems. MAPP stands for Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships. It is a nationally recognized community health improvement planning model endorsed by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO). The phases of MAPP start with organizing the process, partnership development and visioning. Four critical assessments follow: community health status assessment, forces of change assessment, local public health system assessment using the National Public Health Performance Standards Program (NPHPSP), and assessment of community themes and strengths. Assessment findings inform the selection of strategic community health priorities. Goals and strategies and measurable objectives are used to develop a community health improvement plan that includes implementation strategies and action plans. Two important tangible products of MAPP-based efforts are a community health status profile report and community health improvement plan. MAPP and MAPP-based processes contribute significantly towards enhancing public health system capacity and meeting proposed standards and measures of agency accreditation. Florida counties have made notable accomplishments in community health assessment, health improvement planning and action implementation. Additionally, Florida is one of only 10 states with significant (>67% of jurisdictions) implementation of the National Public Health Performance System Program local instrument.
Florida's State Health Assessment
DOH-Orange Creating Innovative Partnerships to Tackle High Infant Mortality
Orange County is challenged with high infant mortality rates and the Department of Health in Orange County (DOH-Orange) is working with partners to change it. Though the county experienced a slight dip in the overall infant mortality rate last year, 2013 saw an increase in the rate from 6.9 deaths per 1,000 births to 7.5 deaths. At a stunning rate of 13.5 infant deaths per 1,000 births, Black babies in Orange County experienced nearly a 2 point increase in the rate. DOH-Orange Health Director, Kevin Sherin, MD, MPH, MBA, calls the rates “unacceptable” and is leading the effort to strengthen and create new community partnerships to aggressively lower the infant mortality rate.
Underscoring this effort is the DOH-Orange Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) in which reducing the rate of preterm birth is a primary goal. Preterm birth (delivery before 37 weeks gestation) leads to complications that can ultimately cause an infant’s death. One in five black babies is born preterm in Orange County. There are multiple reasons why a mother may deliver early, but increasing evidence connects social determinants of health to preterm births. As a result, DOH-Orange has created partnerships to explore the impact of poverty, domestic violence, racial injustice, and other social determinants on preterm births.
Last year, DOH-Orange and the Healthy Start Coalition of Orange County developed a multi-sector team that applied for acceptance into the prestigious CityMatCH Institute for Equity in Birth Outcomes (EI). Team Co-leaders, Ericka Burroughs-Girardi, the Health Equity Coordinator at DOH-Orange, and Linda Sutherland, the Executive Director of the Healthy Start Coalition, were grateful when the team’s application was accepted. The EI is providing technical assistance to help the team develop two interventions to address the root causes of infant mortality in Orange County. “Creating this team required us to reach out to nontraditional stakeholders and create innovative partnerships,” says Burroughs-Girardi.
One such partnership is with the University of Central Florida’s Marriage Research and Family Institute (MFRI). While the MFRI had never been involved in infant mortality prevention efforts in the past, their director, psychologist Andrew Daire, quickly saw the connection between the MFRI’s work, helping couples develop effective communication skills, manage stress, and avoid domestic violence, and preventing infant deaths. The MFRI is consulting the team in creating an intervention aimed at reducing maternal stress while increasing fatherly support. Another new partnership that has evolved is with Bithlo-based United Global Outreach, Inc. (UGO). This community-based organization is emerging as a leader in transforming impoverished neighborhoods into healthy, thriving neighborhoods. UGO is consulting the team in working effectively with disenfranchised populations. For more information about DOH-Orange’s infant mortality reduction efforts, contact Ericka Burroughs-Girardi at (407) 858-1400 x 1217.
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