One of the fundamental roles of county government is the delivery of health and social services. The complexity of coordinating the work of myriad systems and hundreds of public and nonprofit providers in Summit County is enormous. The Social Services Advisory Board (SSAB) has assumed the role of building collaboration between these systems and assuring that the needs of our most vulnerable citizens are addressed consistently, professionally, and effectively through the Quality of Life Project.
In 2003, the Summit 2010: A Quality of Life Project began as a comprehensive health and social service planning initiative that would materially improve the economic competitiveness and quality of life of residents in Summit County. Initiated by Summit County Executive James B. McCarthy, the overall intent of Summit 2010 was to improve and strengthen collaboration between major public systems and smaller community partnership agencies to improve effectiveness of services thus resulting in improved health and social services.
The SSAB was charged with the oversight of the project and retained The Center for Community Solutions as lead consultants to perform a comprehensive Environmental Scan of the county. When the Environmental Scan was completed, the SSAB established ten overarching “Major Initiatives” and 20 “Priority Indicators” to be monitored over time. These Goals and Priority Indicators were used to guide the comprehensive planning process underlying the creation of the county’s first Comprehensive Health and Social Services Plan. Beginning in 2006, 15 committees were established across a wide variety of areas (such as early childhood, older adults, family health, and several others) to develop detailed plans for moving the priority indicators in a positive direction.
Now that we have embarked on a new decade, the Summit 2020 project will consolidate and update its improvement plans to focus on five broad initiative areas:
- Economic Stability & Prosperity
- Early Childhood (First Things First)
- Older Adults
- Health & Health Disparities
- Government Efficiency & Effectiveness