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Saturday, August 12, 2017

Douglas County Residents Urged to Provide Feedback at Community Health Forums in August

Press Release

Lawrence, KS – Findings from the Douglas County Community Health
Assessment will be presented at four forums in August. Residents are urged to
attend the forums to provide input on the results and to suggest next steps in the
process, which will involve creation of a Community Health Improvement Plan.
The plan will be used as a guiding document for community leaders and
policymakers in Douglas County.
Forum dates are:
Wednesday, Aug. 16 — 5-7 p.m., Baldwin City Library, 800 Seventh St.,
Baldwin City.
Tuesday, Aug. 22 — 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m., Community Health Facility,
200 Maine St., Lawrence.
Wednesday, Aug. 23 — 6:30-8:30 p.m., Eudora Community Recreation
Center, 1630 Elm St., Eudora.
Thursday, Aug. 24 — 5-7 p.m., Lawrence Public Library auditorium, 707
Vermont St., Lawrence.
The forums are free and open to the public. Food and beverages will be
provided.
“Results from the assessment show that our health status is not just about health
care. It’s about creating job opportunities, providing safe and affordable housing,
and ensuring children and youth are free from abuse and neglect,” said Director
Dan Partridge, of the Lawrence-Douglas Health Department. “If we’re going to
improve our health moving forward, we have to include all community
perspectives in the conversation.”
Lawrence Memorial Hospital President and CEO Russ Johnson agrees. “In our
Destination Health strategic plan, we identified population health as an important
initiative,” Johnson said. “Partnering with other organizations and the community
to improve health more broadly is population health. LMH is strongly committed
to our purpose of being ‘A Partner for Lifelong Health.’ A collaborative approach
is essential, and it begins with conversations and feedback.”
The Community Health Assessment was developed to specifically include
residents typically underrepresented. The assessment includes: a survey that
was completed by 2,000 Douglas County residents; newly-analyzed data about
life expectancy, leading causes of death and other health outcomes in Douglas
County; and a PhotoVoice project where area youth used photography to identify
health concerns and strengths.
Through the Community Health Assessment process, common health challenges
emerged:
• Access to affordable housing
• Alcohol, tobacco and drugs
• Barriers to accessing healthy foods and food insecurity
• Child abuse and neglect
• Discrimination
• Mental health
• Physical activity
• Preventive care services and clinical linkages
• Poverty and good-paying jobs
“These are big challenges affecting our health, and that’s why we need to work
together to make progress on them,” Partridge said. “I’m looking forward to
hearing the community’s thoughts about how we can best tackle these
challenges.”
A Steering Committee, representing agencies across Douglas County, is leading
the Community Health Assessment process. Those agencies include: Douglas
County, City of Lawrence, City of Eudora, Baldwin City, City of Lecompton, KU
Center for Community Health and Development, Lawrence-Douglas County
Health Department, Lawrence Memorial Hospital, LiveWell Lawrence, Heartland
Community Health Center, Health Care Access, Douglas County Dental Clinic,
Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center, DCCCA, Haskell Indian Health
Center, Douglas County Community Foundation, The Lawrence Chamber, KState
Research and Extension — Douglas County, Lawrence-Douglas County
Housing Authority, Peaslee Tech and Saint Luke’s AME Church.

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