Letter from KCHD Director Dr. Martha Buchanan
In 1948, the World Health Organization defined health as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being—not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.” This broad understanding of health drives our work whether we’re monitoring the air, building partnerships, investigating disease outbreaks, empowering communities, providing preventive health services or educating the public about good health practices.
While many of our major achievements go unseen - the outbreaks that didn’t happen and the lives not lost to preventable chronic diseases or injuries - many more achievements are tangible and measurable, and are outlined in this annual report. As you’ll see, much of our work centers on creating an environment where everyone has the opportunity to be healthy. Evidence shows we can expect some of the biggest public health returns by creating environments that make the healthy choice the easy choice. We must not only help build a community that values health, but also a culture that supports it.
This report is organized by the four main priorities that were identified in our strategic planning process. Created to help us provide the best public health service possible for our community, these strategic priorities help illustrate how each program or initiative relates to the big picture.
We’ve accomplished a great deal this year, and we look forward to taking on the challenges that lie ahead. I welcome any feedback you may have about the programs and initiatives outlined in this report. Please feel free to contact me directly at 865-215-5273.
Dr. Martha Buchanan