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For the past 20-plus years, The Rockford Regional Health Council has been a leader in identifying root causes of health concerns and fostering a culture of health awareness within our region to address community health.
In response to COVID-19, the Council has embarked on a journey to reaffirm our role in the community in these changing times. Through the leadership of the Role of Rockford Regional Health Council Ad-Hoc Committee, the Council Board approved three Strategic Priorities focused on addressing the Social Determinants of Health: Disinvested and Vulnerable Neighborhoods, Specific Morbidities, and Education and Advocacy.
“Community Health” is a lot more than just ‘health care’; it takes more than just medical treatment to improve it. The Social Determinants of Health are conditions in the environments in which people are born, live, learn, work, play, and age that affects a wide range of health, functioning, and quality-of-life outcomes and risks.
Bringing healthcare systems and community-based organizations together is the Council’s approach to addressing the Social Determinants – strengthening families and communities to promote optimal health outcomes.
Access to health care means having “the timely use of personal health services to achieve the best health outcomes.” Access to health care consists of four components:
Coverage: facilitates entry into the health care system. Uninsured people are less likely to receive medical care and more likely to have poor health status.
Services: Having a usual source of care is associated with adults receiving recommended screening and prevention services.
Timeliness: ability to provide health care when the need is recognized.
Workforce: capable, qualified, culturally competent providers.
Many in our community face barriers that prevent or limit access to needed healthcare services, which may increase the risk of poor health outcomes and health disparities.