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Public forums set to help shape Wyoming State Health Improvement Plan

People at a Healthy Wyoming rally for Medicaid expansion at the Nicolaysen Art Museum in Casper in September. (Gregory Hirst, Oil City)

CASPER, Wyo. — The Wyoming Department of Health said on Thursday that some upcoming public forums will give residents the ability to participate in forming a Wyoming Health Improvement Plan.

The WDH and the State Health Improvement Plan Steering Committee have selected behavioral health, access to healthcare and unintentional injury as priority areas in efforts to evaluate health-related issues in the state.

“Our work now involves selecting strategies related to those identified priorities,” WDH Public Health Division Performance Improvement and Health Equity Manager Feliciana Turner said. “We will also weigh the challenges that might be involved with implementing those strategies.”

A series of online “Common Ground for Action” forums to help shape the strategy selection are scheduled to begin in December. These forums will allow members of the public, healthcare providers and other stakeholders to provide input that will be used to help determine a final set of strategies that will be included in the Wyoming Health Improvement Plan.

“It’s expected the resulting strategies will be those with high levels of support and agreement among participants, and [they] are expected to be strategies that can actively involve the contributions of many organizations and individuals,” Turner said.

The Wyoming Health Improvement Plan is seen as “a tool to enhance and strengthen existing efforts and help address gaps related to Wyoming’s complex health challenges,” according to WDH Public Health Division Senior Administrator Stephanie Pyle.

The full forum schedule can be found from the WDH online. People wishing to register for any of the sessions can do so online.

“The use of this forum format has been made possible through partnership with the University of Wyoming (UW) under the Unlocking Community Health Access Together (UCHAT) project,” the WDH notes. “Additional information will be collected through this partnership to better understand public trust and needs relative to public engagement opportunities.”

“For more information on the overall state health improvement plan process, please visit https://sha.wyo.gov.”