The Health Department is in the early stages of a five year Community Health Improvement Plan that began last year and will continue through 2017.
Based on surveys, county health data and the input of 30 local stakeholders, the department has identified three focus areas to work on.
The first is a greater emphasis on preventing seniors from injuring themselves through falls.
The second is a more holistic approach to reducing chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes through combating adult and childhood obesity.
And third, the creation of Health Homes for people with ongoing mental health issues and chronic disease.
"Getting to patients early, getting them assessed early, and getting them into ongoing care so that their mental health issues and their chronic disease issues are not exacerbated to the point of needing hospitalization," said director Claudia Edwards.
Both United Health Services and Catholic Charities will be offering Health Home services in our area.
Edwards says reducing obesity requires more than just medical intervention. That's why the county is engaging representatives from schools, childcare, government and transportation to help create environments that promote better nutrition and physical fitness.
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