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Front Page - Friday, March 8, 2019

Community health profile released

The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department has released its community health profile, which provides a broad picture of the health of Hamilton County residents compiled from local, state and federal data sources. It was last updated in 2015.

“This report helps guide our community’s efforts in targeting prevention initiatives, improving health care and influencing public policy,” says Health Department Administrator Becky Barnes. “It shows us what’s working well and where we as a community need to focus our efforts.”

More than 100 health status indicators are grouped into 11 major topic areas. Bright spots included a 15 percent drop in opioid prescriptions during the last three years and a 34 percent decrease in teen birth rates from 2010 to 2016.

Areas of concern include the number of uninsured Hamilton County residents in 2017 (32,303) and the number of fatal drug overdoses (84) that same year. Of those deaths, 60 involved opioids.

The report also focuses on health disparities. For example, local data show that African-American mothers are 2.4 times more likely to give birth to a low birth-weight baby than Caucasian mothers.

“The report reinforces the critical need for partnerships between government, private industry, nonprofit and faith-based organizations,” the Health Department said in a news release.

“Each of these health indicators are like a complex puzzle, especially when examining them through the health disparities lens. Oftentimes, an organization is equipped to work only on its piece of the puzzle. However, when the pieces come together, we all move closer to the solution. Only by working together can we make Hamilton County a safer and healthier place.”

Entire report

Source: Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department