Community Health Improvement

Community Health Improvement

Across the country, people are working together to improve their community’s health through focused, coordinated efforts through a process called community health improvement (CHI). Community health improvement is a multi-year, repeating cycle of assessing health needs, focusing on a select number of priorities, and then putting into action effective policies and programs that drive change. If you have questions about CHI, the Community Health assessments or the Community Health Improvement plan email us.

In Whatcom County, we convene community partners for community health improvement. To learn more about this process, visit the Healthy Whatcom website.

The goal of community health improvement is to:

  • Change the underlying factors that affect the community’s health.
  • Make healthy choices easier.
  • Improve access to care.
  • Provide everyone with an equal chance at a healthy life.

Community Health Assessment and Community Health Improvement Plans are developed through the CHI process.

Community Health Assessment

The foundation of community health improvement is the data that drives our decisions. In 2018 the Whatcom County Health and Community Services completed a Community Health Assessment (CHA) and seven Community Health Snapshots that describe how healthy people are in Whatcom County.

The 2018 Community Health Assessment is a comprehensive look at the health of Whatcom County residents. It measures health and well-being across a range of indicators that answer two big questions: “How healthy are we?” and “What is our community’s ability to respond to our most pressing public health concerns?” This information allows us, together with community partners, to focus and coordinate community resources to address important public health issues that no single organization can address alone.


Community Health Improvement Plan

A Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) is an action plan to address the community health issues identified through the CHA. Community members and community health partners, like health care organizations, schools, and non-profits, develop the CHIP together. It requires the collaboration of multiple organizations; no one agency can do it alone.

Read Whatcom County’s 2022-2026 Community Health Improvement Plan.

  • Priorities: in the spring of 2019 over 90 community stakeholders participated in a data carousel to identify the top health priorities for Whatcom County.
  • Get involved! Community health improvement is all about working together to accomplish things that no one organization can do alone. Want to be a part of creating a Healthy Whatcom County?