Officials Making Progress On Community Health Improvement Plan - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Officials Making Progress On Community Health Improvement Plan

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The Gallatin County Health Department is working on improving the overall health of the community.

Officials are hoping improve all aspects of care

The Gallatin City-County Health Department is making progress on its Community Health Improvement Plan.

The plan has three main goals: to improve access to care, encourage healthy behaviors and increase collaboration between service providers.

"We believe that community health and public health should belong to the community, it should belong to the public. This is one way we have to make sure that's the case," said Matt Kelly, Gallatin City-County Health Department Health Officer.

At a meeting Tuesday, community members discussed certain aspects of community health.

One area officials hope to see improvement on is prenatal care.

Gallatin City-County Health Department Human Services Director Jill Steeley said she's hoping area doctors refer women to home visitation services early in their pregnancies.

"We are seeing a lot of referrals of newborn babies and we would like to see more referrals of those pregnancies during their first trimester," said Steeley.

Steeley said some women qualify to have a public health nurse come to their home during pregnancy and after birth. These nurses can answer questions on everything from eating right to breast feeding and development.

"They get the benefit of working with social workers who help them access resources they might not know exist," said Steeley.

Steeley said most of their current referrals come from the delivery department at Bozeman Deaconess Hospital or the health department's Women Infants and Children program.

Health experts said meetings like this help them address areas where they can improve the overall health of the county.

"We are lucky in Gallatin County," said Kelley.  "We have an enormous volume of resources and organizations that are working together to make the health of our residents better."

If you would like to learn more about the Community Health Improvement Plan for Gallatin County, head to the health department's website.


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