DAVENPORT, Iowa (KWQC) – The 2021 Community Health Assessment results were released Tuesday.
The study reports show there are areas of concern with significant gaps remaining in issues made worse by social conditions, including poverty and income inequality.
“These issues dramatically influence both personal and community health,” Brooke Barnes, deputy director of the Scott County Health Department, said. “To improve the community’s mental and physical health, we need to continue to work collaboratively across sectors to address these root causes of poor health in our community.”
The Community Health Assessment takes a data-driven approach to determine the health status, behaviors and needs of residents in the Quad Cities area, conducted by PRC of Omaha, Nebraska.
The study included a community survey of 1,150 people in Scott, Rock Island and Muscatine counties, secondary data analysis and input from local community members in 26 focus groups held across the counties. Study sponsors in partnership with Community Stakeholder Committee members and other community partners collected qualitative data.
The Quad Cities area is above the national average in three areas, according to the study.
From the total area, the study found the number of people who identified their health as “fair” or “poor” was 24.8% compared to the national average of 12.6%. Where the average in the Quad Cities area was found to have most often been among adults ages 40-64, Black respondents, and adults in very low-income households.
The study showed a greater proportion of Quad Citians are overweight or obese than the national average.
“Overweight” is considered having a body mass index, or BMI, at or above 25. The Total Area average is 74.6%, compared to 61% nationally. In the obese category (BMI of 30 or higher), the Total Area is 41.1%, while the national rate is 31.3%.
The study also highlighted improvements in the area as fewer Quad Cities residents smoke, more have health insurance coverage and more older adults have had flu vaccinations in the past year.
The Quad Cities averages fare better than the national average on selected indicators, including the percentage of adults who have visited a dentist in the past year, have been screened for diabetes, and have died in motor vehicle crashes, according to the study.
The assessment identified 13 “areas of opportunity” for health partners and the larger community: access to healthcare services, cancer, diabetes, heart disease and stroke, housing, infant health and family planning, injury and violence, kidney disease, mental health, nutrition, physical activity and weight, oral health, respiratory disease and substance abuse.
The 2021 list of areas of opportunity is much the same as the 2018 report, apart from respiratory disease replacing tobacco use. Stakeholders throughout the community will narrow this list to the top three concentrations during a strategy session in November, then health partners will update community health improvement plans.
“Our collaborative assessment process recognizes the critical role of all community sectors in creating a healthy community,” Tom Bowman, CEO of Community Health Care, said.
Focus groups within the study identified issues in the community including a need for more medical specialists in the community; help with navigating complex healthcare systems and medical insurance; more preventative and holistic care options; and improved diversity and cultural competency among medical providers.
The study was sponsored by Community Health Care, Inc., Genesis Health System, Muscatine County Public Health, Quad City Health Initiative, Rock Island County Health Department, Scott County Health Department and UnityPoint Health-Trinity. Area health officials have been conducting this assessment every three years since 2002.
“Local healthcare and public health partners use this assessment to set priorities and programs for the next three years and work collaboratively to improve the overall health of Quad Citians,” Nicole Carkner, executive director of the Quad City Health Initiative, said. “The partners encourage community engagement in the assessment process and in the work to follow.”
Partners of the study invite the community to comment on the assessment via an online survey until Nov. 5. The full assessment and survey are available at quadcities.healthforecast.net.
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