Lewis and Clark Community Health Report highlights improvement and concerns

Posted at 7:00 PM, Feb 04, 2019
and last updated 2019-02-04 21:00:48-05

HELENA – The 2018 Lewis and Clark Community Health Report was revealed to the public today at St. Peter’s Health. The report is to put together every three years, highlighting health concerns in the county.

With the motto to work “strategically, comprehensively and collectively towards improving the health of all Lewis and Clark county residents,” Healthy Together, a public health organization recently formed by Lewis and Clark Public Health, has partnered with St. Peter’s to provide a snapshot of health issues facing residents.

The Community Health Report found areas that need improvement including air quality, cancer screenings, child abuse and neglect, traffic injuries, mental health, physical activity in teens, substance abuse and tobacco usage.

One section of the report stated that the number of children going into foster care in the county has tripled since 2010 and one in four residents have been diagnosed with depression.

It also found nearly two thirds of high school children have experimented with alcohol and 40 percent have tried marijuana.

It also recognized area areas the county is performing well in, Lewis and Clark residents had better access to primary care, good levels of adult physical activity, a declining premature birth rate, and good rates of oral health.

Drenda Niemann, County Health Officer stated during the news conference, “The Community Health Report is an opportunity for our community to really access the health of our county residents. Niemann continued, “It’s not only, ‘look at the demographics—what is the age of the people living in in this county? How many males? How many females? How many kids are under the age of eight? But also what is the status of chronic disease in the county?”

All data was compiled by talking to 700 patrons around the county. The information will be used to devise a 2019 community health plan.

For more information and access to the Community Health Report, please visit here.

Reporting by Christine Sullivan for MTN News