Public Health Planning Team, Saratoga County Public Health Services

Meg O'Leary, Public Health Planner; Rachel Maxwell, Senior Health Educator

When Meg O'Leary, Public Health Planner and Rachel Maxwell, Senior Health Educator analyzed the county data collected for our 2019 Community Health Needs Assessment; they recognized the need to acquire additional local data and anecdotal information specific to a particular rural community. They arranged for a public forum and presented specific data to this rural community; stakeholders, town board members, and the public. Both listened intently as the community expressed their individual wants and needs to improve the health of their community, in order to formulate an individualized plan. This team came prepared at subsequent meetings to offer ideas and evidence-based interventions, along with future funding sources. They engage and empower the community, by facilitating subcommittees to address obesity and substance use disorders; working to find appropriate interventions that the community wants. The team continues to bring attention to a rural and isolated community, identifying health inequities, i.e., transportation and food insecurities.