Together, community health assessment and planning are important tools to use in determining the overall health of a community and identifying the key health issues facing a community. The quality of the neighborhoods where we live, work, and play is as important to achieving good health as going to the doctor for regular checkups, proper nutrition, and adequate physical activity.

There are many factors, or determinants, that affect health and have a tremendous influence on health outcomes. The physical environment, social and economic factors, and clinical care all play a part in an individual’s health. Instead of looking at health as purely the absence of illness, the Kane County Health Department uses a different model where we see many factors relating to health: the economic and social opportunities and resources, living and working conditions in homes and communities, medical care, and personal behavior.

Every five years, local health departments in Illinois are required to conduct a Community Health Assessment and create a Community Health Improvement Plan. This involves asking people from all walks of life—from private citizens to health professionals—what they believe are the most important health issues facing Kane County.

Once the pulse of the community is taken, the top issues become the public health priorities for the next five years. To see the results of the last assessment view the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP).

The planning section also works closely with the Kane County Division of Transportation and the Development and Community Services Department as part of the Kane County Planning Cooperative. The Cooperative is the integrated effort to implement the County’s array of long range plans including the 2012-2016 Community Health Improvement Plan, the 2040 Long Range Transportation Plan and the 2040 Plan. The Planning Cooperative was created as the central core of the 2040 Plan’s implementation strategies and has the focus of planning for the 2040 Plan’s overarching theme, Healthy People, Healthy Living and Healthy Communities.

2040 Plan

The Kane County 2040 Plan, adopted in 2012, is the county’s long-range comprehensive plan and is a statement of public policy on issues relating to community development, water resource management, open space protection and land use decisions. For the first time, a stand-alone chapter on community health is included, which was written and contributed by the health department.

In addition, the overarching theme of the plan is Healthy People, Healthy Living, Healthy Communities which recognizes and emphasizes the connection between the most important resource in Kane County – its people – with the opportunities and barriers for healthy living created by the built and natural environment, and how together they shape the overall health of communities.

Go to the 2040 Plan page where you can learn more about the planning process and access the chapters.

Links & Resources

2040 PLAN
Quality of Kane Website
Community Health Improvement Plan
Kane County Planning Cooperative
Health Impact Assessment (HIA)
KDOT Planning Site
Planning for Public Health