Pierce County residents have a chance starting today to influence how local leaders tackle the community’s health problems.
The Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department, in conjunction with Franciscan Health Systems and MultiCare Health System, will begin a series of workshops to gather public input on health concerns. All health-related topics will be on the table, from obesity to health care reform.
The Health Department and hospital systems will use the input to help form a community health improvement plan, said Karen Meyer, community liaison for the Health Department.
“We want to know what matters to Pierce County residents,” Meyer said. “This is a strategic way to identify issues that are most important.”
Information gathered at the meetings will help local health leaders craft a plan that sets priorities and goals for improving access to health care and ultimately lead to a healthier population, she said.
Organizers already have held workshops with stakeholders and community leaders and also commissioned a survey to gather input.
Once the plan is written, health leaders will use it persuade local governments, social service agencies, health care providers and others to “focus their attention and resources on the most critical community health issues in our county,” according to the Health Department.
“We will be asking, ‘What part of addressing this do you want to have?’” Meyer said. “We hope there’s a system of accountability that comes out of it.”
Health officials hope to have the plan completed by fall 2013.
Pierce County health leaders will hold a series of public workshops beginning today to gather input on health priorities.
• Today, 4:30-6 p.m., Pierce County library branch, 6300 Wildaire Road SW in Lakewood.
• Dec. 10, 4:30-6 p.m., Puyallup City Library, 324 S. Meridian in Puyallup.
• Jan. 9, 6:30-8 p.m., Pierce County library branch, 18501 90th St. E. in Bonney Lake.
• Jan. 10, 6:30-8 p.m., Pierce County library branch, 4424 Point Fosdick Drive NW in Gig Harbor.
• Jan. 15, 10:30 a.m.-noon, Tacoma Public Library, 1102 Tacoma Ave. S. in Tacoma.Adam Lynn: 253-597-8644