A community Health Action Plan (CHAP) is a document that systematically outlines the plans necessary for accomplishing community health goals. It is developed based on the needs, goals, and health gaps identified within the community. It is a roadmap made by a community coalition, specifying goals and objectives, what the plan aims to achieve, specific activities to be taken, type and amount of resources required, as well as the timeline for every activity.  It also addresses the source and the cost of resources required to execute the plan. Members of the community should be the main players in the preparation and execution of the plan because they  have first hand knowledge of the the major health challenges they face and the solution they need.

The process of developing a CHAP should only be tailored towards supporting, helping, and improving the health status of a community. The process may appear as unnecessary hard work, but when approached positively and with all the right reasons will prove to be very useful for the entire community. It saves the community a lot of money, time, and effort that would have otherwise been spent to come up with multiple initiatives to achieve the same goal. Proper documentation of the process ensures that everyone involved is focused and dedicated to where the plan is heading, and that proper actions have been put in place to make sure that the entire process is a success.

The CHAP basically describes in detail the process to be followed towards improving the health of the community. It may take sometime for the goals set in the plan to be achieved, but in the long run, staying dedicated to the plan is paramount in achieving sustainable health changes. The plan mainly seeks to attain a community healthcare system that is both accessible and accountable for average members of the community. There are tons of challenges associated with the process, but staying true to the course is very important.

CONCLUSION

A Community Health Action Plan is an essential tool in the effort to improve and maintain a community’s health status. While the plan is paramount, it does not necessarily need to perfect. The plan only needs to focus on attainable outcomes centered on achieving better results and bridging any health gap in the community. More important, the plan is not a static document but rather one that is modified through the implementation process of steering the coalition towards availing quality healthcare services to the community.

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