Welcome to the home page for the Genesee County Health Department (GCHD) Strategic Plan “Healthy Genesee County 2020.” “Health Happens Here” is a major theme of our plan. Place matters when it comes to health, life expectancy and quality of life. In fact, in many communities you can look up the differences among life expectancy by zip code and the results may surprise you. GCHD received funding from the California Endowment to map this data for our county in 2013.
With this information we hope to empower neighborhoods to reduce disparity and create health equity. We all have a shared interest in ensuring our schools, our neighborhoods, are contributing positively to our health. For example, when zoning laws allow liquor stores to inundate a neighborhood, we see higher rates of crime. Vacant housing and blight are associated with crime. When there are too many fast food outlets in a community and not enough places to purchase fruits and vegetables, we see higher rates of preventable health conditions like obesity, type-2 diabetes and heart disease.
Conversely, when sidewalks, bike lanes and safe parks are built in communities we see an increase in physical activity which promotes health. When a school brings fresh produce into a school lunch program, we see kids eating salad and fresh fruit which puts them on a path to better eating habits.
“Health Happens Here” is a driving force for organizing our work.
“Health Happens Here” requires work on multiple issues. Our current priorities are:
So, in closing, I strongly encourage you to look at your community and ask yourself “Does health happen here?” We must get involved and become part of the solution.
Our success will be evaluated by reaching specific milestones in decreasing infant mortality, obesity, chronic disease, violence, and unintentional injury and increasing school attendance, graduation rates, immunization rates and preventive health screenings.
Mark Valacak, MPH, Health Officer, Director
To view the Genesee County Health Department’s Strategic Plan titled “Healthy Genesee County 2020” click here.