Healthy Harnett has identified focus areas and developed action plans and interventions that are designed to improve the health of the community. The community health priorities identified include the following health concerns to be addressed over the next four years which align with county residents input and using the Healthy North Carolina 2020 priority focus areas and objectives.
The community health priorities identified include the following health concerns to be addressed over the next four years which align with county residents input and using the Healthy North Carolina 2020 priority focus areas and objectives.
(1) Nutrition & Physical Activity, (2) Maternal & Child Health, and (3) Motor Vehicle Safety.
The following brief descriptions highlight key findings with regard to each of the three priority areas, including specific data as well as recommendations for planning purposes:
Nutrition & Physical Activity - In Harnett County, respondents to the Community Health Survey indicated the need to improve health education related to nutrition and dietary habits. These community perceptions align with selfreports (on the survey) of physical activity and consumption of fruits and vegetables that are below the recommended levels. In the community health improvement planning process, specific attention should be given to targeted educational activities with priority populations (e.g., low-income families), in addition to broader health promotion and policymaking efforts aimed at increasing utilization of parks and recreation facilities and improving affordable access to fruits and vegetables throughout the county.
Maternal & Child Health - Like many areas of the state and nation, Harnett County has significant concerns with regard to infant mortality—particularly for minority populations. According to the most recent data (2011-2016), Harnett County ranks 21st in overall infant mortality rate among counties in our state. Even more striking, Harnett County has the ninth (9th) highest Black/AfricanAmerican infant mortality rate in the state of North Carolina. Improving the maternal and child health outcomes in Harnett County will require careful attention to maternal health behaviors and the social determinants of infant death—particularly neonatal deaths. In the community health improvement planning process, specific attention should be given to targeted outreach and intervention with priority populations (e.g., Black/African-American mothers), in addition to broader prevention efforts aimed at improving pregnancy outcomes and reducing neonatal deaths.
Motor Vehicle Safety - In the most recent report from the NC Department of Transportation (2015), Harnett County ranks ninth (9th) among the 100 counties of NC with regard to the fatal crash rate. The three year fatal crash rate for Harnett County (2.14/100 MVMT) is 46% higher than the fatal crash rate for peer counties. Over the last ten years, while the state of NC is reducing the number of crash fatalities by approximately 35 deaths per year, Harnett County remains stagnant over the period (reduction of less than 0.2 deaths per year). In 2015, almost half (45.5%) of fatal crashes in Harnett County were alcohol related and Harnett County ranks 13th highest among counties in NC in the percentage of alcohol-related crashes (5.7% overall). In the community health improvement planning process, specific attention should be given to alcohol use and the prevention of alcohol-related motor vehicle accidents, in addition to broader prevention efforts aimed at increasing seat-belt use and reducing distracted driving.