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HHS releases its 2024-2029 State Health Improvement Plan


North Dakota Health and Human Services released its 2024 to 2029 State Health Improvement Plan as part of their goal to make North Dakota the healthiest state in the nation.

Public Health Division Director Dirk Wilke says the plan identifies health priorities that will be used as a framework for HHS’s goals, objectives, and activities.

"It's really a strategic road map developed to be a blueprint for improving public health outcomes and addressing key health challenges. We use data to help inform what those priorities are going to be and after years of looking at the data, we get came with four different priorities, which was, strengthening workforce, cultivating wellness, expanding access and connection, and building community resilience. Those will be kind of the focus areas that will be targeting."

The State Health Improvement Plan will be active for the next five years as HHS works to improve the state’s overall heath through their initiatives.

Wilke says they know exactly where to start, "One thing we have learned throughout this entire process, is, we reached out to over 150 different stakeholders across the state from a lot of different disciplines and what we kept hearing is, there's a lot of work that's already been done in this area. But what happens a lot of times is, it gets duplicated by different groups. We want to make sure that we, as a state, are all moving in the same direction or all following the same path, and we're all aware of what each other is doing, so we're not necessarily duplicating work, we're enhancing each other's work. So, really, the start is creating that collaborative, creating that group. We're all addressing these things together and we're all working towards same four goals."