Community Health Improvement Plan, San Luis Obispo County, 2018-2023

Announcing SLO County’s First Community Health Improvement Plan

Author: Public Health Department
Date: 1/10/2019 10:33 AM

95+ community partners worked together to identify priorities and are now putting the plan in action.

The Public Health Department, in collaboration with more than 95 partners in the non-profit, health care and government sectors, is pleased to announce a first for San Luis Obispo County: the release of a comprehensive five-year community health improvement plan. Together, the partners make up a collaborative known as SLO Health Counts.

“I am thrilled to see this plan in action and especially to see so many organizations from across our community come together to achieve this first for SLO County. I offer my sincere appreciation for the careful thought and hard work that it represents,” said Dr. Penny Borenstein, Health Officer of the County of San Luis Obispo. “This is a true community effort and I hope new partners will continue to join us as we embark on this ambitious plan.”

This five-year plan represents a strategic and collaborative approach to achieving a shared goal: ensuring all San Luis Obispo County residents have the opportunity to be healthy. It provides a path to measurable improvement in eight priority areas. Those areas and goals are:

Access to Care

  • Improve coordination of health care among service providers.
  • Recruit and retain providers to the Central Coast.
  • Increase the proportion of low-income children in SLO County with routine and adequate dental care.

Social Determinants of Health

  • Increase CalFresh enrollment to reduce hunger and improve health among SLO County residents.
  • Improve access to affordable, attainable, safe and supportive housing.

Maternal, Child & Adolescent Health

  • Improve social and emotional supports for new mothers.
  • Implement a Help Me Grow™ (HMG) system in SLO County.

Infectious Disease

  • Reduce the rate of undiagnosed hepatitis C in SLO County Jail inmate population.
  • Reduce the rate of influenza in high-risk SLO County populations.
  • Reduce the rate of syphilis in SLO County population.

Chronic Disease & Health Behaviors

  • Improve diets and increase physical activity in the environments where people eat, live, learn, work and play.
  • Reduce rates of chronic disease among county residents.
  • Reduce smoking initiation, tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke.


  • Reduce falls among seniors.
  • Reduce vehicle-related injuries.

Social & Emotional Wellness

  • Improve consistency of care across the continuum of social and emotional wellness services.
  • Improve the social and emotional support network for teens in SLO County.


  • Increase awareness within the agriculture community of the risks associated with Valley Fever and prevention / treatment needed.
  • Improve water quality at high priority beach / creek interfaces.

The community health improvement plan is informed by the 2018 County of San Luis Obispo Community Health Assessment, which paints a point-in-time picture of the county’s health and highlights the important social, economic and health conditions that affect SLO County.

After sharing this assessment, the Public Health Department brought together partners from across the community to develop a shared vision, identify eight priority areas, and form teams around those priorities. Team members used data, best practices and their own expertise to define goals, develop measurable objectives and outline strategies for the community health improvement plan. The resulting community health improvement plan serves as a roadmap for prioritization and a lens through which to focus on collaboratively-developed statements of highest needs. In some areas, it builds on existing efforts and creates measurable objectives; in other areas, it lays the groundwork for aspirational efforts where the Public Health Department and community partners may either aim limited discretionary funding or seek additional funding sources.

Now, teams are working to put the plan in action.

“The true power of this plan is in the diverse partnerships behind each goal,” said Dr. Borenstein. “Working together means we can focus fresh attention on challenging issues and pool expertise and resources to create the greatest collective impact.”

To see the full plan and get involved, visit