Pennsylvania Physicians Join State’s Efforts to Steer the ‘SHIP’

Health care improvement processes at the state level require physician insight to stay on course. In Pennsylvania, some of that physician guidance comes through the process of developing a State Health Improvement Plan, or “SHIP.”

Now that the Pennsylvania State Health Assessment has been completed in Dec. 2013, the next step in the process toward the Pennsylvania Department of Health receiving accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board, is development of the SHIP.

The SHIP process uses the findings of the State Health Assessment, which reports on the health status, health risks, and health care services in Pennsylvania, to identify areas for health improvement. It also reports factors that contribute to health issues and identifies assets and resources that can be mobilized to address population health improvement.

Representative of the Pennsylvania Medical Society (PAMED) served on the State Health Assessment Advisory Committee and are currently serving on the SHIP Advisory Committee.

At its first meeting, the SHIP Advisory committee developed this vision statement: “Healthy people, healthy communities, healthy Pennsylvania.”

SHIP will carry out its strategic actions from 2015 through 2019, including regional stakeholder meetings throughout the state as a first step. The first SHIP regional stakeholder meeting, held at PAMED headquarters on July 8, 2014, was attended by over 60 representatives of a multitude of stakeholders invited by the Secretary of Health.

The SHIP Advisory Committee, which meets next on Sept. 16, 2014, will complete its work in August 2015.