This past month, some significant changes were made to our CHART advocacy strategy. As you know, the CHART initiative has been created in partnership with the Mississippi State Department of Health, which is administering the PREP grant that’s funding this initiative.
The changes are based on an updated data set we’re using to identify our Priority 1 status. Up to this point, we’ve used five indicators for determine our advocacy priorities, based on the teen birth rate for 15-19 year old females, and the Chlamydia and gonorrhea infection rates for the total population in each county. However, in order to reflect the target audience of the CHART initiative, we’ve decided to use a specific data set that would reflect the teen birth rate for 10-19-year-olds, and the Chlamydia and gonorrhea infection rates for 12-19-year-olds.
While the use of this new data set had virtually no effect on counties with enormously high rates, some counties on the edge of certain statuses moved up or slipped down in the ratings. Below are the changes…
Counties Moving Up
(Up To P1) Bolivar and Yalobusha; (Up To P2) Leake
Counties Moving Down
(Down To P2) Chickasaw, Marion, Neshoba, Sharkey; (Down to P3) Calhoun, Simpson, Tippah, and Wayne
Under our partnership with MSDH, only Priority 1 districts are guaranteed full funding to implement CHART. Priority 2 and 3 counties can receive full-funding on a first come, first served basis. Districts that dropped from P1 status can still receive funding, but now it’s imperative that they adopt the policy as quickly as possible.