The last State Health Improvement Plan covered the period of 2019-2023. It combined the data from the State Health Assessment, completed in 2018, with strategies to improve health outcomes and reduce inequities in five priority areas: chronic disease, early childhood, mental health, oral health, and substance use disorder. The Plan was designed for partners across agencies and in multiple sectors.

Learn about our approach and timeline for updating the State Health Assessment and Improvement Plan in 2024

Questions and Answers
What are the SHA and SHIP? Data and priorities

SHA: Where does the data come from? Can I find ALL data about Vermont health here?

We relied primarily on data the Health Department collects, such as the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS), Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS), birth and death certificates, and hospital discharge data. No, the SHA does not present all the health data about Vermont, and it does not have information about performance. The SHA is a selection of important data about population level health. For information about all the data available through the Health Department, see the Data Encyclopedia.

SHA: How did you choose what data was ‘important’? Why don’t I see _________ addressed?

The health department handles much more data than you see in this assessment. The goal of the State Health Assessment is to focus on health equity. We selected four “Populations in Focus”–people of color, people who identify as LGBTQ, people living with disabilities, and people living in poverty. The other highlighted issues are those where Vermonters are faring worse than people in other states or the data is moving in the wrong direction. 

Health issues that are not in the State Health Assessment remain important. The health department and our partners will continue to work to create opportunities for health for all Vermonters.

SHIP: What was the process for choosing SHIP priorities?

The goal is to identify 3-5 issues that the health department, other state partners, and a wide range of community advisors see the need and opportunity for improvement if we all “row in the same direction.”  All of the issues identified in the State Health Assessment were rated by staff at the department of health and members of the Advisory Committee using the following criteria:

  • Magnitude: To what degree is it a significant public health issue?

  • Impact on Equity: To what degree is it a significant health equity issue?

  • Economic and Social Cost: To what degree does it create economic and social challenges?

  • Feasibility for Change: To what degree are we able to act and make change?

Take a look at the March Advisory Committee Meeting Summary for more information about the process.

Who was involved?

Who was on the Advisory Committee?

We invited over 140 organizations to participate, and the organizations listed in this document were able to send representatives to the Advisory Committee meetings.

How was the Advisory Committee chosen?

The initial invitee list was generated by talking to our programs within the Department of Health and listing our partners that we currently work with and that we need to work with in the future in pursuing our mission to protect and promote the best health for all Vermonters. Additionally, with guidance from our Health Equity Coordinator, we reviewed the list to ensure that we included voices from populations who experience or are at risk of experiencing health inequity. We are always looking for additional partners. If you did not participate in this process but would be interested in partnering to address health equity and our SHIP priorities please let us know.

Who else was engaged?

Some Advisory Committee members were not able to attend the committee meetings or preferred participating and communicating in a smaller group. The large Advisory Committee meetings are our “In” engagement. We also coordinated “Out” engagement where we went and met with people in the community, focusing again on populations who experience or may be at risk of experiencing health inequity. Because populations who experience or are at risk of experiencing health inequity have too often in the past not been fully included in engagement and analysis of our work, we will make every effort to ensure they are represented in this work in ways that feel comfortable to them.  

What did the Advisory Committee talk about in the meetings?

Notes and minutes from the Advisory Committee meetings are available on this page. Specifically of note, the vision for the future and summary of forces of change documents are good summaries of what we talked about and what the participants had to say.

Meetings and Agendas


Steering Committee Agenda - June 2017
Steering Committee Minutes - June 2017
Steering Committee Agenda - July 2017
Steering Committee Minutes - July 2017
Advisory Committee: Invited Organizations - July 2017
Advisory Committee Agenda - July 2017
Advisory Committee: Slide Deck - July 2017
Advisory Committee: Worksheets - July 2017
Advisory Committee: Tabletop Instructions - July 2017
Advisory Committee: Vision for the Future (Activity Notes) - July 2017
Advisory Committee: Forces of Change Summary - July 2017
Steering Committee Agenda - October 2017
Advisory Committee Agenda - October 2017
Advisory Committee: Vision for the Future (Revised) - October 2017
Advisory Committee: Meeting Summary - October 2017
Advisory Committee: Slide Deck - October 2017
Advisory Committee: Data Feedback - October 2017
Advisory Committee: Community Assets - October 2017
Advisory Committee Out Engagement - October 2017
Steering Committee Agenda - January 2018
Steering Committee Minutes - January 2018
Advisory Committee Agenda - March 2018
Advisory Committee: Meeting Summary - March 2018
Advisory Committee: Rating Criteria - March 2018
Advisory Committee: Slide Deck - March 2018
Steering Committee Agenda - May 2018
Steering Committee Minutes - May 2018
Steering Committee: Recommendation Priorities - May 2018
Steering Committee Notes - October 2018
Steering Committee Draft SHIP Outline - October 2018
Advisory Committee Agenda - November 2018
Advisory Committee Strategies - November 2018
Advisory Committee Ratings and Results - November 2018
Steering Committee Agenda - November 2018
Steering Committee: Draft - November 2018 Recommendations - November 2018
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