On January 25, the Health Policy Institute of Ohio (HPIO) and the Governor’s Office of Health Transformation (OHT) rolled out the preliminary State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP). Governor John Kasich unveiled his executive state budget proposal on January 30 and new spending in the budget will address priorities outlined in the SHIP. OHT Director Greg Moody, in anticipation of the budget’s introduction, emphasized the themes of improving health through economic vitality, health care coverage and access, comprehensive primary care, proposing an increase in the state’s tobacco tax, and more funding for health districts that are accredited.
Building on the State Health Assessment (SHA) released in August 2016, the SHIP takes a comprehensive approach to improving Ohio’s greatest health priorities by identifying cross-cutting factors that impact multiple outcomes. Rather than focus only on disease-specific programs, the SHIP highlights powerful underlying drivers of wellbeing, such as student success, housing affordability, and tobacco prevention.
This approach is built upon the understanding that access to quality health care is necessary, but not sufficient, for good health. The SHIP is designed to prompt state and local stakeholders to implement strategies that address the social determinants of health and health behaviors, as well as approaches that strengthen connections between the clinical heath care system, public health, community-based organizations, and sectors beyond health.
What makes this SHIP different? The OHT and the Ohio Department of Health have led the process cooperatively with strong participation from other health-related state agencies. The process has been built from the grassroots up, taking into account community priorities and using them to inform the SHIP process. This SHIP sets specific and measurable outcome objectives for the state with an evaluation plan to monitor progress on an annual basis. Toolkits will provide a menu of SHIP-aligned outcome indicators and evidence-based strategies for local partners to include in their community-level plans. This SHIP also puts a stronger focus on health equity and social determinants of health.
Amy Rohling-McGee, president of HPIO, joined the Ohio Academy of Family Physicians Board of Directors meeting on January 22 to discuss the SHA/SHIP process, how that process is driving priorities for the state in the next budget cycle, and how the OAFP’s work might align with these priorities in addressing population health.
Executive Vice President Ann Spicer represented the OAFP on the SHA/SHIP Advisory Committee and has been involved in effort over the past year.