Today marks the start of Arizona Public Health Week and National Public Health Week, a recognition of the work public health does behind the scenes to improve the overall health of our communities. Aligned with National Public Health Week’s 2019 focus on Creating the Healthiest Nation, the State Health Assessment (SHA) examines the health of communities across Arizona and is created from the collaboration of partners and stakeholders from all sectors.

ADHS has been diligently working through this process and is seeking your input before the final draft is published in late April. After conducting data analysis, presenting data snapshots to partners, and engaging in discussions of capacity, ADHS is now releasing the draft Assessment in an effort to capture additional public comment.

As a key component to achieving public health accreditation, ADHS released the first State Health Assessment in 2014. This SHA was used to inform the health priorities for the 2016 – 2020 Arizona Health Improvement Plan (AzHIP), which is in the fourth year of implementation. With an increased focus on health equity and the social determinants of health, the new Assessment builds off of the AzHIP using the same approach of “Healthy People, Healthy Communities.”

Utilizing a variety of data sources, the new SHA highlights successes and challenges within health behaviors and outcomes across the lifespan. In addition to noting trends and national comparisons, the Assessment identifies key social, economic, and environmental factors that contribute to the health of Arizonans. ADHS is also working with local health officials across the state to add high-level profiles for each county that will include specific priorities and community involvement.

The SHA is intended to inform and spark discussions of state-wide priorities and resources while challenging partners to engage in activities that build healthier communities. ADHS is seeking public comment on the draft Assessment and will incorporate feedback into the final version. Comments can be submitted online from now until Friday, April 12th. We value any and all input.