Authorization and Charge (Resolution)
In April 2001, the mayor and City Council accepted the Mayor’s Minority Health Improvement Task Force recommendations for minority racial/ethnic health improvements. On April 19, 2001, the mayor and City Council by resolution No. 010601 established the Kansas City Health Commission. This Commission was charged to:
- Implement the recommendations from the Minority Health Improvement Task Force;
- Provide structure and oversight for the development of a Community Health Improvement Plan for Kansas City;
- Begin discussions for launching a collaborative process for developing a metro-wide Community Health Improvement Plan; and
- Advise the mayor and City Council on public health matters.
In January 2006, the Health Commission became a permanent, mayoral appointed advisory body (Ordinance No. 051261). The charge is to provide structure and oversight for the cyclical development, implementation and evaluation of a Community Health Improvement Plan for the City of Kansas City, Mo., and to advise the mayor and City Council on health-related programs and policies. The Health Commission’s mission is to achieve a citywide collaboration and partnership of organizations and individuals to work together to build a healthier community.
To ensure fulfillment of its charge the Commission adopted the following responsibilities:
- Aiding in the development of prevention and risk reduction strategies
- Recommending ongoing systemic modifications that provide access and improved care
- Advocating for current policies, resources, and infrastructures and recommending the development of new policies, resources and infrastructures to prepare for and respond to new public health and health care concerns
- Advocating for the effective pursuit of good health as a basic human service for Kansas City residents and visitors
- Advising the mayor and City Council on health-related activities, contracts and policies.
As part of the Health Commission’s charge to create a Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) for Kansas City, the Health Commission identifies key health priorities every four to five year. For the period 2009 - 2011, the following health priorities (a.k.a. Health Focus Areas) have been identified:
- Promoting Clean Indoor Air and Improving Access to Smoking Cessation
- Promoting Wellness for Women to Reduce Infant Mortality
- Promoting Mental Health Disease Management
- Improving Health Care Access and Quality Assurance
- Responding to Violence, Crime and Other Social Determinants of Health
The Health Commission is led by four co-chairs, presiding in descending order:
1) community co-chair; 2) City Council co-chair; 3) vice-chair; and 4) director of Health Department as an ex-officio co-chair.
The Health Commission consists of 17 members, appointed by the mayor. The director of the Health Department serves as a non-voting ex-officio co-chair. Members serve staggered terms to ensure continuity of membership and a regular introduction of new members. Although the commission does not have designated seats, when recommending new members for appointment, consideration is given to the extent diversity is currently represented.
The Commission’s backbone is its committees. Each commissioner is expected to serve on a committee. Each committee has two co-chairs in presiding order: a commissioner co-chair and a community co-chair. The committees are made up of community members. And attempts are made to reach as many grassroots residents as possible, to become members. The Health Commission Committees are:
- Health Planning
- Minority Health and Health Equity
- Tobacco Use Reduction
- Women’s, Infant’s and Children’s Health
- Budget and Contract Evaluation
- Executive Committee
The last two committees' membership consists solely of Health Commissioners; however, the general public is invited to all of the meetings.
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