Improving access to and quality of health care services.
Access to health services directly impacts the overall physical, social and mental health status of a community. When administered and delivered appropriately and in a timely fashion, health services help prevent disease and disability, detect and treat health conditions, improve quality of life, avoid preventable death and increase general life expectancy. Accessing quality health services — including primary, behavioral, oral and specialty care services — is difficult for many people, particularly for those of low socioeconomic status. Despite the Fairfax community’s wealth, more than one out of every 10 county residents lacked health insurance in 2009.
Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP)
Access to Health Services Goals:
- Improve access to primary and specialty care, including oral and behavorial care.
- Improve access to services that promote social and emotional wellness, prevent suicide, and decrease the stigma associated with mental illness and substance abuse.
The Partnership is working to improve the community's ability to obtain, process, and understand basic health information and services needed to make appropriate health care decisions and engage in health promoting behaviors. Promoting preventive and comprehensive services is one approach to improving access. Promoting existing services and expanding their scope of services will reach the larger community and achieve a greater impact. One important strategy to increase accessibility of services is to integrate care in a comprehensive and patient-centered way, including mental health services. The entire community must be more aware of mental illness and how it impacts individuals, families, and the community. To find out more about Fairfax’s Access to Health Services objectives and key actions, read the Live Healthy Fairfax Community Health Improvement Plan (pages 26-27).
See our progress detailed in the latest CHIP annual evaluation report.
What's Happening in the Community?
- Promoting Mental Health Team: A committee of the Partnership for a Healthier Fairfax, the Promoting Mental Health Team has several responsibilities, including:
- Implement the actions listed under Goal 2 of the Access Priority Issue of the Community Health Improvement Plan (see page 27).
- Develop and consider services and initiatives for the Fairfax County Systems of Care Office.
- Identify and share local resources that help promote behavioral health.
For more information on the Promoting Mental Health Team, please email Jesse Ellis.
- The Trauma Informed Community Network (TICN) of Fairfax was formed in May 2015 to coordinate a multiagency, multidisciplinary effort around the implementation of Trauma Informed Care within Fairfax County Human Services Agencies and their partners. The purpose of the TICN is to create a mechanism for collaboration and the sharing of information and resources with the goals of telling the story of Trauma Informed efforts across the community, increasing awareness and identifying areas that the group can collectively build upon to support Fairfax’s development as a Trauma Informed County.
For more information on the Trauma Informed Community Network, please email Chrissy Cunningham.
- The Northern Virginia Suicide Prevention Plan was adopted by the Fairfax-Falls Church Community Services Board in October 2014. The board has received funding from the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services for implementation of the plan. The Promoting Mental Health subgroup of the Access to Health Services Team led the development of the plan and will be coordinating Fairfax's implementation of the plan.
To join the Access to Health Services Priority Issue Team, email us or call us at 703-246-8856, TTY 711.