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Access to Care, Behavioral Health, and Chronic Diseases Identified as Top Community Health Issues

Apr 01, 2019

Access to Care, Behavioral Health, and Chronic Diseases Identified as Top Community Health Issues

Local health partners announced today the ABCs of top health concerns facing the community—Access to Care, Behavioral Health, and Chronic Diseases.

The Sioux Falls Health Department, Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center, Avera Heart Hospital, and Sanford USD Medical Center presented findings from a collaborative Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA), a process that assists community leaders in understanding the health status of the area.

Related to the priority health issues, the report findings stated:

Research shows that health behaviors and the environment, right down to the zip code level, can predict how healthy we will be as individuals and as a community. When looking at zip codes within the city limits of Sioux Falls, there is a 14-year range in life‑expectancy rates among different neighborhoods.

The conditions in which we live, work, and age are referred to as social determinants of health. Where we live impacts our access to healthy food, housing, job opportunities, and schools, as well as places to be physically active and to build social connections. And ultimately, all of that impacts our health.

The assessment included several data-gathering components, beginning with a resident survey, followed by focus groups and a series of discussions with representatives from work sites, health care, education, government, and other community organizations. In addition to representing their organizations, many of the participants also represented the interests of medically underserved, low-income, and minority populations.

Other notable findings included in the CHNA report include:

The CHNA partners also identified priority activities to purse collaboratively across all community sectors:

Download an Executive Summary of the CHNA findings and access the full 2019 Community Health Status Report here on our website.