Lisa Macon Harrison, MPH
Granville Vance Public Health is an Academic Rural Health Department with characteristics of an Advanced Medical Home for the populations we serve. We work each day to elevate the practice of local public health by being responsive to community needs, evidence-based in our approaches to solve problems, and aware of the emerging issues that need our greatest attention. Granville Vance Public Health offers prevention, primary care, Medication Assisted Treatment services, Environmental Health, communicable disease, maternal and child health, vital records, WIC / nutrition services, immunizations, and many health education and health promotion programs that directly address and respond to local population health needs.
We take the health of the people to heart even when it seems the problems loom large and the solutions may take more resources than we have at our disposal. Our public health workforce remains undeterred and committed to protecting and promoting health in Granville and Vance Counties
There are three guiding quotes of thought that float in my head regularly as a local health director:
- “Every system is perfectly designed to get the results it gets” (– W. Edwards Deming, Paul Batalden, and Donald Berwick have all been attributed with this quote – great minds of QI)
- “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” – Albert Einstein
- “The health of the people is really the foundation upon which all their happiness and all their powers as a state depend.” – Benjamin Disraeli
Those thoughts align precisely with the work we must lead in communities across the Northern Piedmont of NC: Systems Thinking, System Change, Quality Improvement, Innovation, and the Science and Art of public health practice at its best is what we lead. That means our work changes over time and, if we’re paying attention, the way we prioritize and pay for our work does too.
How do we do this big work and stay committed to being real? We depend on a skilled and talented workforce who cares a great deal about friends and neighbors. We depend on partners in the community who also do really good work to address the economic development, education, transportation, food security, and housing of the population we also serve, and we depend on many levels and types of funding sources to keep the lights on, the computers networked, and the people trained to keep moving forward with skill and talent. We plan. We do. We study. We act. We care a great deal.
A local health department in NC depends on funding from local, state, and federal levels, and still, in rural NC, that is barely enough to cover half of an operating budget for a local health department. We are charged with being creative and responsible for funding the interventions and programs most important to our local residents by writing and managing grants, by partnering with local health systems and businesses, and by applying business practices that add efficiencies, cut costs, and pay attention to revenue even though our values are very much people-focused over profit. We have to be smart and tenacious, honest and transparent, and we have to communicate well about our challenges and successes alike.
Public health is rewarding work. Public health is challenging work. Public health is collaborative work. Public health is essential to communities and families thriving.
Please take a look through our web site and see all that public health does – we’re certainly more than just a clinic that provides flu shots… we love fighting disease and we know how do that well, but we do so much more to protect and promote health. We invite you to find out more and be in touch with us. We’re here for you. Thank you for your support of this local health department and its people.
Lisa M Harrison