County Health Councils
County Health Councils in Tennessee, which have been active in all 95 counties over the last 20 years, have the power to be vital grassroots partners in creating public health change at the local level. Made up of community members from a wide range of sectors, Health Councils know their communities intimately. This means they are positioned not only to readily identify the most pressing needs in their community, but also to identify and work toward solutions that make sense for their communities.
TDH directly supports those councils in the 89 rural counties through funding and staffing support while regularly collaborating with partners in the 6 metro counties. Because of their cross-sectoral makeup, Health Councils are uniquely positioned to design and implement cross-sectoral strategies that address the complex nature of Social Drivers of Health in their communities.
While membership and mission of County Health Councils may vary from county to county, typical sectors represented include education, planning, local government, healthcare, mental health, juvenile justice, local non-profits, social service organizations, and community members.
County Health Improvement Process
County Health Councils lead the County Health Improvement Process with support from their respective county health departments, regional health departments, and the Office of Strategic Initiatives. Within this five-step process, the County Health Assessment (CHA) and Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) aim to increase the impact of Health Councils by providing a framework for councils to conduct a locally-led needs assessment process.
The CHA guides Health Council members through data collection to determine up to three priorities for the council to address through cross-sector collaboration.