Health Focus Group outlines potential health related issues in the valley

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The Lake Chelan Community Hospital & Clinics hosted a Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) focus group meeting on Thursday, August 8 at the Chelan Senior Center from 5:30 to 6:45 in the evening.

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The Community Health Needs meeting on Thursday, August 8 attracted a disappointing number of concerned individuals. 

Only an estimated 15 people participated in this focus group to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats related to health in the Community.

Every three years, the hospital and regional partners from Chelan, Douglas, Grant and Okanogan counties collaborate and perform a CHNA to better understand North Central Washington’s Community Health Needs. The organizations use gathered information to provide direction and impact population health.

Three years ago the CHNA reported that the highest priority needs in NCW at that time were mental health care access, , access to health care, education and obesity.

The focus group was led by Paige Bartholomew of Action Health Partners. “We are assessing the health needs affecting the community,” said Bartholomew. This is a program that takes place every two years.

A full report will be out regarding the focus groups throughout NCW in January.

The results of Thursday’s focus group brought up a lot of issues facing health care in the Valley. They included the following:

  • The cost of living in the Lake Chelan Valley
  • Lack of affordable housing in the valley
  • An increasing population leading to more health issues
  • Obesity and a lack of proper diet and exercise regimes leading to potential diabetes
  • Fire, water and pollution potential
  • Losing local providers (lack of care givers). The Lake Chelan Community Hospital has lost a number of physicians and medical personnel.
  • The number of businesses offering alcohol
  • Income levels equaling more polarization
  • People living on a fixed income
  • Government regulation of the medical industry.
  • The cost of insurance and the high deductibles.
  • The lack of a community connection.
  • The potential for high frequency wireless transmissions leading to potential health problems.
  • Agriculture’s use of fertilizers and pesticides
  • Sun exposure
  • Global warming (climate change).

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