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Board of Health Adopts Goals During Planning Retreat

Apr 11, 2019

The Cumberland County Board of Health and Health Department senior management staff held its second annual Board Planning Retreat on March 29 at Cape Fear Valley Hospital.

The Board reviewed and considered numerous datasets to inform their planning efforts for the upcoming year, including but not limited to the 2018 Community Health Assessment, Community Stakeholder Surveys and the 2019 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation County Health Rankings. Based on expressed and observed community needs, the Board adopted the following goals for the 2019-2020 year:

  • Reduce the prevalence of teen vaping
  • Reduce the incidence of opioid abuse, overdose and death
  • Reduce the rate of teen pregnancies
  • Reduce the rate of sexually transmitted diseases
  • Improve oral health

As a part of this year’s planning, the Board has asked the interim Health Director and staff to take these goals and develop SMART (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) objectives for the Board’s consideration. Staff will collect data, report to the Board of Health, Board of Commissioners and Community throughout the year on the achievement of these goals and objectives.

The retreat began with a recap of progress made toward achievement of the Board’s Fiscal Year 2018-2019 priorities and goals. The Board prioritized the following three items for the year:

  1. Issue a position statement on governance and recruit for a permanent Health Director:A position statement was drafted expressing the Board’s desire for the Health Department to remain a stand-alone department with a separate governing board. While the search for a permanent Health Director continues, significant progress has been made to attract a talented pool of applicants.
  2. Improve transparency from Staff to the Board of Health and Board of Health to the Community: Prior to the past year, the Board did not receive all external monitoring reports from the various federal, state and local entities that provide such monitoring. The Board has been receiving these reports on a monthly basis and/or as they occur. In the event of items being out of compliance, staff share corrective action plans with the Board and provide updates on the implementation of said plans.

    To provide more transparency to the community, the Board has asked staff to post all Board meeting agendas and minutes to the Health Department’s website. Additionally, the Department has embarked upon a more deliberate print media, social media and radio campaign to better inform the public of health and wellness updates, activities and services.

  3. Increase the number of School Health Nurses: With help from the Cumberland County Board of Commissioners, the Board of Health was successful reducing the nurse-to-student ratio in Cumberland County Schools by adding seven School Health Nurse positions in the current year’s budget. While this was a good initial step, the board would like to continue to increase the number of nurses. The Board has asked staff to continue to request additional School Nurses in the upcoming budget year(s).

In addition to these three priority areas, the Board set goals last year for the Department to work to improve the County’s rankings in the following areas: chronic disease management (obesity, heart disease, hypertension, and diabetes), opioid misuse and overdose, sexually transmitted diseases and teen pregnancies.

Over the past year, the Board of Health has experienced a membership overhaul with the addition of seven new Commissioner-appointed members. All vacancies have been filled.

“This board is truly engaged and committed to working with our community to improve the health and wellness of our citizens,” said Dr. Connette McMahon, chair of the Board of Health.


If you would like more information about the Cumberland County Department of Public Health’s programs and services, health-related data, or community resources, please call 910-433-3600 or visit with someone at the information desk, or visit our website at Comments are welcome and can be submitted on our website at The Health Department is located at 1235 Ramsey St. in Fayetteville.