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Community Health Improvement Plan

Cook County Department of Public Health (CCDPH) works with numerous partners and communities on a regular basis. As a requirement for state certification by the Illinois Department of Public Health and for accreditation by the national Public Health Accreditation Board, CCDPH undertakes a community health planning process with partners every five years to set and revisit health priorities for the jurisdiction.

This process leads to the development and maintenance of a community health improvement plan (CHIP) for suburban Cook County. CCDPH’s CHIP is called WePlan. We are proud to share WePlan 2025, is the most current CHIP for suburban Cook County.

WePlan 2025 aligns with the Cook County Policy Roadmap   and builds upon the great work already happening across the region. The following four assessments informed the identification of the priority health issues

WePlan 2025 Health Priorities

Structural Racism: A Cross-Cutting Theme

Central to the success of WePlan 2025 is the recognition that racism is a public health problem. Although the concepts of health equity, social determinants of health, and root causes of health disparities have gained greater prominence over the last decade, naming structural racism specifically as one of these root causes is essential if we are to tackle it.

The following three community health improvement priorities were identified as a result of the WePlan 2025 assessment process. WePlan 2025 explicitly states that addressing structural racism is essential to advance health in these areas. Strategies focus on structural and policy solutions to correct power imbalances, working with grassroots community organizations, and elevating the voices of people most affected by racism and oppression.

Priorities and Goals

1. Improve access to health and behavioral health resources for all

  • Increase access to primary care and behavioral healthcare services
  • Coordinate systems to better empower and engage communities
  • Promote person-centered, trauma-informed, culturally-appropriate approaches
    • Address substance use using a harm reduction approach
  • Focus on upstream drivers of mental health and substance use

2. Ensure safe and healthy environments for all

  • Increase access to safe, healthy, inclusive, and affordable housing and active transportation networks
  • Diversify land use to increase and improve access to everyday destinations and healthy food while protecting access to green and natural spaces
  • Support and enhance climate mitigation and resiliency strategies to increase community preparedness

3. Advance inclusive and healthy education and economic opportunities for all

  • Increase access to and provision of high-quality education and educational supports
  • Expand opportunities for post-secondary education, workforce/talent development and local businesses, women- or minority-owned
  • Companies and companies owned by people living with disabilities
  • Advance education and economic opportunities and promote worker rights, health, and safety

Health Equity Indicators

To stay accountable to the overall goal of improving health equity by addressing structural racism, WePlan 2025 includes four overarching health equity indicators.

  • Life Expectancy – Increase life expectancy for Black residents and reverse declines in Latinx and Asian populations.
  • Overall Health Status – Improve overall health status for Black and Latinx residents, measured by percent of adults who report good health.
  • Economic Well-Being – Increase economic well-being for Black and Latinx residents, as measured by the percent of adults living above the Federal Poverty Level
  • Mental Well-Being – Increase access to behavioral health treatment for all residents, with a focus on Black, Latinx, and Asian populations, as measured by behavioral health emergency department visits.

Updated June 11, 2024, 11:13 AM