The Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) launched the first Arizona Health Improvement Plan (AzHIP) in March 2016. The purpose of the AzHIP is to describe how ADHS and community partners work together to improve the health and wellness of Arizonans. The AzHIP highlights 17 comprehensive health issues that the state hopes to improve by the Plan’s completion in 2020. As part of the national accreditation requirements, the AzHIP must be updated every year to show progress on our state’s health priorities.

Over the past year, ADHS and our AzHIP stakeholders have been collaborating to address each of the health issues. Both internal and external co-chairs have been facilitating workgroups dedicated to tackling each priority area. Leading the effort, the AzHIP Steering Committee provides guidance and support to ensure the Plan reflects high impact actions to move our work forward.

After meeting with the Steering Committee and our partners, the 2017/2018 Update to the AzHIP was released in July. The Update includes progress on performance indicators for each strategy, success stories related to action items, and the completion status of action items. Annual progress is also updated on the Data Dashboard. The Dashboard contains data updates, definitions, sub-indicators, visual status indicators, and updates to progress indicators for action items.

In addition to annual updates to the AzHIP, ADHS has kicked off the process for the next State Health Assessment (SHA). Both the SHA and AzHIP are requirements for national health department accreditation, and new editions must be released every 5 years. Data analysis is underway for the next SHA, with an increased focus on health disparities and the social determinants of health. The Assessment will be released in early 2019.

By bringing together partners to address these important health issues, we continue to strengthen the public health network and infrastructure in Arizona. It’s exciting to see the great work and successes that are already being realized. We are so appreciative of everyone who has participated in this process.