(Shenandoah) -- A collaborate effort is underway to improve the health of Page County residents.
About 40 people attended a Community Health Needs Assessment town hall meeting at the Greater Shenandoah Historical Society Museum late Wednesday morning. Shenandoah Medical Center, Clarinda Regional Health Center and Page County Public Health sponsored the event. SMC CEO Matt Sells tells KMA News the meeting was part of the continuing effort to identify and prioritize the county's health needs.
"We took the opportunity really dig onto some data regarding chronic health conditions, health and wellness factors, and a lot of different things that affect our local community, with respect to health and wellness," said Sells, "and really got an idea of where those things stand today. Now, as we went through it, it's really trying to figure out exactly how our different entities can collaborate together to address those needs."
During the meeting, attendees reviewed results of an online survey defining the thoughts of local residents on health issues. Sells says 307 respondents completed the survey, with some important results.
"Some of the key things that were identified as needing attention included mental health," said Sells, "and our ability to address some of those needs. You know, how can we continue to fight the issues with opioid addiction, and some of those situations, as well as how can we continue to increase the access in our local communities to specialty providers, and how are we to just make sure that we can provide many of those services locally. We really felt those were some of the highest priorities."
Sells says the survey also gave insight on some of the county's chronic illness issues, such as heart disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer. Based on the survey results, Sells says collaborators will spend the next six weeks preparing a three-year implementation plan to address local health issues.
"As we kind of talked, there are a number of things that need to be worked through," he said. "With that being said, we've got to prioritize and find those things that we think are really achievable."
Sells thanks Clarinda Regional Health Center and Page County public health officials for their cooperation in the health survey.