The Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department’s Office of Community Assessment and Planning has released the 2015 “Picture of Our Health” community health profile for Hamilton County. The report is an update of the 2010 report, and is a broad picture of the health of Hamilton County residents.
“It clearly shows we have made significant gains in some health areas, such as heart disease and infant mortality,” said Health Department Administrator Becky Barnes. “Despite these gains, it’s evident we still have work to do in protecting the health of our citizens.”
The report details the current demography, rates, and trends of: general health status and quality of life, access to health care and coverage; infant and maternal health; death, illness, and injury; mental and behavioral health; environmental Health; and communicable disease.
Data were compiled from multiple sources including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the US Census Bureau, Tennessee Department of Health, and other related health tracking sources. Previous assessments were published in 2006 and 2010 and are available for review and comparison on the Health Department’s website.
Significant improvement has been made in the areas of teen birth rates, stroke, and African-American infant mortality. Some worsening areas include deaths due to accidental poisonings, accidental falls, and Alzheimer’s disease. The report identifies notable health disparities in areas such as kidney disease, diabetes, homicide, and suicide. The behaviors and social determinants that contribute to death and disease, including risky youth behaviors, are also highlighted.
“This report is a useful tool to evaluate the health of our community and to guide our efforts in targeting prevention initiatives, improving health care, and influencing public policy,” said Barnes. “It shows us what’s working well and where we need to focus our efforts.”
The Regional Health Council is the lead community-based organization appointed by the Hamilton County Mayor and Board of Commissioners to be responsible for community health assessments, regional health planning, and the provision of input regarding health and health-related initiatives. The council partnered with the Health Department to prepare the report. The 2015 “Picture of Our Health” report is available online at health.hamiltontn.org.
For more information, call the Health Department’s Community Health Services at (423) 209-8088.
Source: Chattanooga-Hamilton County Health Department