For over a century, public health interventions – from vaccines to food safety and vector control – have contributed to Americans’ longevity, and local health departments play a key role in supporting their communities by promoting healthy living. This social commitment to improving peoples’ lives through healthy aging programs uniquely dovetails with local health department Community Health Improvement Plans (CHIPs), which highlight priorities that can be adapted for these programs.
From an analysis conducted by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO), most CHIPs contain priorities that, while not specifically addressing older adults (e.g., 65 years of age and older), could be adapted for healthy aging programs. These priorities include chronic diseases, including heart disease, diabetes, stroke, and cancer, as well as substance use, depression, and other mental health conditions.
To strengthen and develop age-friendly public health systems, however, a more comprehensive set of healthy aging indicators is needed to guide health departments and community partners at the local, state, tribal, and territorial levels to measure and identify population-level health disparities and inequities. Additionally, Community Health Improvement (CHI) partners need a robust, unified source of secondary data that aligns with healthy-aging indicators to inform strategic and action planning.
This guide, developed by the National Association of County and City Health Officials, in partnership with the Trust for America’s Health and with funding from The John A. Hartford Foundation, is designed to augment NACCHO’s Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships (MAPP) framework. MAPP is the most widely used CHI framework among governmental public health departments and, increasingly, community-based organizations, nonprofit hospital systems, and community health centers that lead or engage in CHI processes. This also serves as a resource for health departments seeking to attain Age-Friendly Public Health Systems (AFPHS) recognition.
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