Assessment and Planning

Division Overview

The Department of Public Health and Environment conducts assessments about the health of the people living in the county along with environmental conditions. The assessments are done in collaboration with citizens, community organizations and policy makers. In general, the assessment process includes the following steps:

  • Collect and analyze data about conditions of public health and/or environmental importance including citizen input.
  • Identify important public health and environmental concerns impacting the county.
  • Recommend what should be done to address the concerns.
  • Share the findings with the public.

Completed Assessment and Plans

The assessment process may also lead to the preparation of detailed plans about the actions the county or other organizations are going to take to address the concerns.

Community Health Assessment

Every five years, the Department of Public Health and Environment conducts a Community Health Assessment (CHA). The purpose of this assessment is to learn about the health status of the people living in Washington County and identify areas for improvement. The assessment is done in collaboration with residents, community organizations, health care providers, and policy makers. Collaborators help prioritize health issues in Washington County, then develop action plans to improve health across priority health issues. The CHA is then used to develop a shared Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP), which outlines actions participating organizations agree to take to address priority health issues.

Washington County Community Health Improvement Plan

The 2019 Washington County Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) is a long-term, systematic effort to address public health priorities identified during the Community Health Assessment (PDF) and community health improvement processes. The CHIP will be used by the Department of Public Health and Environment (PHE) along with our community partners to set priorities, coordinate resources, develop policies, and define actions to target efforts that protect and promote health. 

Community health improvement planning is a foundational practice of public health as well as a national standard for all public health departments. Since the passage of the Local Public Health Act in 1976, Minnesota local health departments have been required to engage in a community health improvement process, beginning with a CHA. As part of Minnesota’s local Public Health Assessment and Planning process, every health department must submit a CHIP dated within five years to the Minnesota Department of Health.

Washington County Groundwater Plan

Minnesota Statute 103B provides counties with the authority and requirements for completing groundwater plans. The Washington County Groundwater Plan 2014-2024 (PDF) was adopted on September 23, 2014. The overall goal of the plan is to manage the quality and quantity of groundwater in Washington County to protect the health and ensure sufficient supplies of clean water to support human uses and natural ecosystems. Protecting and conserving groundwater resources is important for maintaining high quality drinking water, healthy streams, clear lakes, fish habitat, rare plants, and economic vitality.

Washington County Waste Management Master Plan

In November 2017, the Washington County Board of Commissioners adopted the Washington County Waste Management Master Plan 2018-2036 (PDF) and submitted the Plan to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency for approval. The county’s Waste Management Master Plan is updated every six years to guide waste management activities while establishing waste projections for the next 18 years. The Master Plan is also developed in conjunction with a Regional Solid Waste Management Plan.

Center for Community Health

The Center for Community Health (CCH) is a collaborative between public health agencies, non-profit health plans, an not-for-profit hospital/health systems in the seven-county metropolitan area in Minnesota. this initiative is a first for bringing together thee organizations. Members of CCH are committed to working together and setting aside competition in order to improve community health.

To learn more, visit the Center for Community Health.