2020 SOTCH

Progress on CHIPs

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, staff and resources were redirected to meet the demands of the pandemic response.  Implementation of program goals and objectives was challenging, however, the health department was able to form new community partnerships and adopt innovative ways to implement programs/services. 

In addition, Pender County Health and Human Services adopted the Results-Based Accountability Framework to help illustrate how and why health priorities are identified. This framework effectively encompasses the work other agencies are doing that are also contributing to addressing the same health priorities noted in the 2018 Community Health Assessment (CHA).  The new framework, coupled with the web-based Clear Impact Scorecard platform, allows the Pender Community to easily view how data is changing overtime. Each of the Community Health Improvement Plans (CHIPs) were added to the Scorecard and some linked to the Healthy NC 2030 health indicators.   

Strategies/Interventions to address 2018 Community Health Assessment Priorities:

Substance Use Disorders & Mental Health

  • On-going promotion of Quitline NC via community events, brochures, and social media.
  • On-going Substance Use Prevention Partnership meetings and action planning/implementation to target mental health and substance use prevention efforts
    • Meetings halted due to COVID until March 2021 and resumed virtually. 
    • Compiling of state and local data on unintentional poisoning, drug overdose deaths, and opioid prescribing rate
    • Consideration of the 2020 State Improvement Plan data to direct efforts
  • Continued participation in state and regional activities for the promotion of smoke-free/tobacco-free policies
  • On-going promotion of National Suicide Prevention Lifeline and Crisis Text Line
  • Current standing order for Naloxone Kit onsite and staff trained to administer
  • Website and Facebook up-to-date postings on Opioid Epidemic
    • Fewer postings because focus shifted to updates/awareness of COVID-19 pandemic 
  • Promotion of county-wide Drug Take Back Day events and locations
  • Creation of Educational Display on Opioids for Prescription Drug Take Back Day
    • April 2020 event cancelled due to pandemic. Attended October 2020 event
    • Distribution of medication disposal bags in community
  • Promotion of Integrated Family Services Mobile Crisis team with patients and community
  • Distribution of medication lock boxes in the Early Childhood Care Management Program through collaboration with Coastal Horizons and grant funds
  • On-going referrals to/promotion of Coastal Horizon’s Substance Use Programs via brochures, flyers, community events, social media and website
  • Continues to maintain an up-to-date Resource Guide of mental health providers in Pender County for community members
  •  Monthly Reproductive Life Planning Education Class at Pender County Department of Social Services that includes the topic of Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome
    • Program halted for 2020 due to pandemic
  • Partnered with Communities in Schools to implement the “CATCH My Breath” curriculum in Pender County after school programs
    • Fewer sessions held due to pandemic
  • Partnered with Pender County Cooperative Extension to implement the Empowering Youth and Families (EYFP) Program to resident families
  • Partnered with the North Carolina Medical Society Foundation to implement the Office Based Opioid Treatment (OBOT) Program to reduce the stigma of receiving treatment and other barriers
  • The School-Based Health Center conducted the “RAAPS”, Rapid Assessment for Adolescent Preventive Services survey on all patients.  The survey is a tool for providers to address risk factors impacting overall health, well-being, and academic success

Cancer Education & Prevention

  • Monthly promotions to increase awareness in the prevention of many types of cancers
    • Fewer events held due to pandemic
  • Educational displays made and set up at all county departments 
  • Facebook posts to promote awareness of many types of cancers
    • Fewer postings due to pandemic
  • Billboard designs displayed in county to promote cancer screening awareness
  • Promotion of the Breast and Cervical Cancer Control Program to allow uninsured, low-income women the opportunity for breast and cervical screenings
  • Implementation of the CATCH My Breath program to decrease risk of teens engaging in tobacco and e-cigarette use reducing their chances of lung cancer  
    • Fewer sessions held due to pandemic

Nutrition & Physical Activity

  • On-going collaboration with Pender County Parks and Recreation to promote activities held at county parks
  • Partnership with Pender County Public Schools to promote National Walk to School, Bike to School, and the Safe Routes to School Program events
    • Effort halted due to pandemic
  • Partnered with local Law Enforcement to host the 3rd Annual Burgaw Bike Rodeo
    • Effort halted due to pandemic
  • On-going promotion of physical activity programs, community events, and opportunities across the county, via brochures, local newspapers, social media (Facebook, health department and county websites)
    • Fewer than normal due to pandemic
  • Conduct Diabetes Self-Management Education (DSME) classes at the health department
    • Fewer initial assessments completed due to pandemic
  • Conduct Matter of Balance (MOB) classes in the community
    • Classes focus on falls-prevention, a common injury for older adults
    • Fewer classes held due to pandemic
  • Promotion of various nutritional programs to health care providers and community partners through Lunch and Learn events
    • Effort halted due to pandemic
  • Continued health presentations with after school groups and community groups about MyPlate and importance of physical activity
    • Implemented following CDC guidelines
  • Active participation in regional diabetes awareness campaigns 
  • Facebook page posts on events that promote physical activity and good nutrition
    • Fewer than normal due to shift to promote awareness/infomation about COVID-19
  • Collaboration with WIC to promote World Breastfeeding Day
  • Promotion of National Nutrition Month through bulletin board displays and social media
Morbidity and Mortality Changes Since Last CHA


Pender County's "10 Leading Causes of Death 2015-2019," may be found at the above link.  The rates for eight of the ten leading causes can often be preventable.  There are many challenges when trying to implement health promotion and disease prevention activities that address physical activity, healthy nutrition, injury prevention, and avoidance of tobacco and other substances.

Life expectancy rates from 2017-2019 show the average life expectancy for Pender County residents at birth was 77.3 years of age.  Life expectancy for women was 80.3 years compared to 74.4 years for men.  Racial disparities are found as African Americans' life expectancy was 73.8 years of age compare to whites'with an average life expectancy of 77.9 years.

Pender County remains a provider-shortage area with 3.8 dentists per 10,000 residents (NC 5.0) and 2.7 primary care physicians per 10,000 residents (NC 8.0).  The lack of health care providers presents increased barriers to healthcare access resulting in lack of preventive screening services and treatment for illnesses.

Morbidity/Mortality Data Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic 

In addition to the normal changes in morbidity/mortality for 2019, there were many unexpected deaths due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Most recent COVID-19 Data in Pender County can be found here. As of June 1, 2021, Pender County has experienced 71 deaths.


Emerging Issues Since Last CHA

North Carolina Medicaid Transformation- The North Carolina Medicaid program will move to a managed care system beginning with FY 21/22.  Medicaid revenue streams into the health department pose uncertainties as clients will have five health plans from which to select.  Health departments are essential health care providers and will contract with them to provide services.  The Pender County Health Department must be prepared to implement new ways of doing business in the future which will include a greater emphasis on the impact of social determinants as well as meeting the health plans’ health indicators.

Public Health Preparedness and Response- Local health departments are the first line of defense for preventing, detecting, and managing local outbreaks and maintaining community partnerships for when, not if, the next outbreak occurs.  The Pender County Health Department continues to adhere to all state and federal guidelines for the COVID-19 response.  This includes investigating/reporting, isolation and quarantine and vaccination clinics to address this communicable disease pandemic.  The communicable disease staff communicates regularly with the health care providers in the county to keep them abreast of potential communicable disease outbreaks or threats.

Staff must be prepared for future natural disasters as well. Taking action before an emergency occurs can save lives and prevent injury.  Efforts to address those with special needs will be solidified to assure residents have a place to go in the event of a disaster. All staff receive annual training and participate in exercises to enable them to respond in an efficient and competent manner. Whether it is a new emerging disease, or a hurricane, the required plans are in place. The health department’s All Hazards Plan, Continuity of Operations Plan (COOP), Isolation and Quarantine Plan, Tactical Communications Plan, and the Pandemic Flu Plan are reviewed annually and revised based on guidelines and recommendations from the CDC, state and local partners.  

New/Paused/Discontinued Initiatives Since Last CHA

(NOTE:  Due to COVID-19, new initiatives were limited as all staff have been involved in response to this pandemic)

Substance Use Prevention (paused)- Members of the Substance Use Prevention Partnership (SUPP) include a variety of public agency leaders. Through a coordinated effort, priorities of the partnership are derived from the NC State Opioid Action Plan and include raising community awareness of substance use and addiction, increasing provider knowledge of CDC’s recommended policies and procedures for prescribing, decreasing substance use/opioid overdoses and deaths and improving community awareness of resources, i.e., diversion programs, therapy, treatment and linkage to support services  The committee monitors data and identifies strengths and needs. Opioid deaths have decreased in the past year, but concerns remain. The health department collaborates with the Department of Social Services to offer Reproductive Life Planning Education classes that address Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome for babies born addicted to opioids and other substances.  

Healthy People 2030- The North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the Division of Public Health released Healthy North Carolina 2030.  The publication has identified a set of health indicators with ten-year targets to serve as a guide for state and local health department efforts to improve the health of North Carolina residents.  Some of the health indicators Pender must focus on impact the county's leading causes of death.  Some indicators include the rates for substance use including adult tobacco use and excessive drinking, suicide and access to care. 

Scorecard Result Container Indicator Measure Action Actual Value Target Value Tag S R I P PM A m/d/yy m/d/yyyy