The Springfield City Council welcomed the Greene County Commission to their weekly Council Lunch to receive a presentation on the Regional Health Assessment.
The assessment, a partnership between the Springfield-Greene County Health Department and various community health agencies, showed the city and council are facing serious issues but with a unique opportunity to solve them.
We’re big enough to have the problems of metro areas but we’re small enough that we can get all the players around the table to talk about those issues,” Clay Goddard, Director of Health for the Springfield-Greene County Health Department told Council & Commission. “I’m very blessed to have incredible health care partners in this community….Burrell, Jordan Valley Health Center, Mercy, Cox…who will work with us in a collaborative way.”
Goddard mentioned progress that has been made in improving the quality of health in southwest Missouri, including the Greene County Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, the Tobacco 21 Act, and the Community Mental Health and Substance Abuse Assessment.
Assistant Health Director Jon Mooney then told the Council and Commission about their process of examining 140 community indicators, hospital data, and surveys of community feedback that lead them to reaching the same three major area that could be focused upon given the community’s current readiness and the feasibility of combating the problems.
The three areas were cardiovascular disease, lung disease, and mental health.
Mooney noted that the entire region reported the same three major issues. He noted how that will help because everyone will be working in the same areas.
Mooney cited why the three were mentioned as the biggest issues. He said that lung disease was the most common reason for someone to go to an emergency department. Asthma was a major factor, as well as tobacco use. He noted in Springfield & Greene County the use of tobacco is about 25%.
Heart disease is the number one killer locally as well as statewide and nationally, although it has fallen over 15% in our region since the last report. It was noted in the report that social issues have an impact on heart health, where things like food insufficiency and malnutrition can lead to heart problems.
Mental health is being worked on by a separate task force connected to the community mental health report released either this year. Suicides in the community are up just over 4% in the last decade.
The Council and Commission were told that the Community Health Improvement Plan is to expand the Tobacco 21 Act throughout the region, a program called “Family Connects” which connects nurses to families with newborns to help screen for problems with children early in life, and the inclusion of health focused issue in Springfield’s upcoming Forward SGF 2040 comprehensive plan.