2019 Mid-Year Update – Health, Wellness & Safety

Tobacco-Free Community Forum

In Wake County, vaping use among high school student is up nearly 900% and teen tobacco use is beginning to rise after years of decline.

To address this, we partnered with the Poe Center for Health Education for a public forum run by high school students for high school students. The goal was to establish student teams in each HS to reduce tobacco use over the next year.

During the forum, the Triangle Apartment Association showed their support of tobacco-free communities by announcing a new program certifying apartment buildings and complexes as tobacco-free. Several apartments have already applied with a great deal of enthusiasm.

We will have a follow-up forum in 2020.


Many citizens are not aware that we have one on the best EMS systems in the country. Huge innovations are taking place with our EMS system in and we can be quite proud of the efforts of the team.

New systems are in place to deal with the opioid crisis — still on the rise here and across the country. EMS has naloxone with them on every call to revive OD victims. In addition, counselors meet with patients while they recover to discuss treatment options to address their drug usage.

In addition, every year Wake EMS resuscitates more than one hundred citizens who were clinically dead due to cardiac arrest. To honor these life-saving heroes, Wake County holds an annual celebration for EMS members and the families of those who have been rescued. To say it’s a moving experience is an understatement.

Population Health Task Force

Four years in the making, the Population Health Task Force, made up of more than one hundred stakeholders and community leaders, developed an action plan and reported our finding (see the report) on how to improve the health and wellbeing of our citizens.

We looked at three categories of need. First were the overall needs of the citizens in the county. Second, were the more in-depth needs of citizens in our vulnerable communities. Third were the “Familiar Faces” — those citizens that regularly find themselves calling EMS, visiting our emergency rooms, being incarcerated or utilizing homeless shelter services.

The next step is to merge these finding with the Community Health Needs Assessment done every three years by Wake County and area hospitals to develop a path forward. This will begin in the fall.

Additional 2019 Mid-Year Updates:

Green Spaces & The Environment     Transit & Commuting      Fixed & Low-Income Resources