Community Health Report Released for Watauga County


[Boone, NC] – AppHealthCare (Appalachian District Health Department), in collaboration with various agencies and community partners, has completed the Community Health Reports that identify public health priorities and areas that are important to our communities.

The Community Health Report is published every three years in partnership with hospitals and community coalitions. The Community Health Assessment is a systematic process involving the community to identify and analyze community health needs and assets, prioritize those needs and then implement a plan to address significant unmet needs.

Each county’s Community Health Report provides results from a community input opinion survey and review of community data which includes income, poverty, employment, community safety, housing, behavioral health and more. The information is used to guide the work of local health departments and community partnerships to address community concerns and monitor progress toward projected goals.

The health priorities below highlight key areas that community coalitions within Watauga County will focus on and work to improve from 2018-2021:

  • Mental/Behavioral Health – Depression, anxiety, emotional wellbeing, suicide prevention, and support/intervention for those with mental illness
  • Substance Use and Misuse Prevention – Drugs, alcohol, and tobacco; including misuse or abuse of prescription drugs and use of e-cigarettes or other devices for nicotine delivery
  • Physical Activity and Nutrition – Access to physical activity or recreation, accessing healthy foods, and making healthy choices for eating healthy and making physical activity easier for all

This report completes the first phase in the Community Health Assessment process. The second phase will take place between March – August 2018 through the development of Community Health Action Plans that will guide work to improve mental/behavioral health, substance use and misuse prevention, physical activity and nutrition, and health equity in Alleghany, Ashe and Watauga Counties.

What Can We Do Together to Improve Our Community’s Health?

  • Practice safe prescription medication use by taking correctly, storing securely, disposing properly, and never sharing.
  • Health begins where we live, learn, work and play. Take action in building our neighborhood to be safe and healthy.
  • Being healthy takes a community. Attend a Mental Health First Aid training and join local community groups that work to support mental health systems.
  • Your opportunity for health starts long before you need medical care. Sign up for your local Women, Infant & Children (WIC) program through your local health department.
  • The opportunity for health begins in our families, neighborhoods, schools and jobs. Participate in local bike and walk safety programs to and from school. Being healthy takes a community.
  • Your neighborhood or job shouldn’t be hazardous to your health. Support tobacco free living.
  • Health starts—long before illness—in our homes, schools and jobs. Investing in our mothers and children is investing in our future.
  • Live active, eat local vegetables and fruits.
  • All citizens have the opportunity to make the choices that allow them to live a long, healthy life. Support local policies for sidewalks and bike lanes.

To view the Community Health Report for Watauga County, visit