By MIKE JAMES
GREENUP A coalition of health agencies and community groups formed three years ago has shown concrete results in the form of funding for walking tracks, diabetes services and other health needs, according to Greenup County Health Department director Chris Crum.
The coalition was instrumental in snagging $94,000 in health department grants, $120,000 in healthy communities grants and $311,000 in Appalachian Regional Commission grants, Crum told participants Friday.
The healthy communities grant paid for a walking track at the health department, among other things, and the ARC money funded ovarian cancer screenings.
More grant applications are pending, including one for colon cancer screenings, he said.
Speaking at a meeting to update the coalition’s public health plans, Crum said working together had improved the health picture in Greenup County.
For instance, it has helped to eliminate service gaps and duplications with such initiatives as the Diabetes Today Coalition, which works to close gaps in hospital diabetes management programs.
Participants in the coalition include health service providers such as hospitals and home health agencies, first responder groups such as police and emergency medical services, government agencies such as police and fire departments, schools, faith-based groups, elected officials and others.
The health department is working with the groups to build a unified approach to community health. Participants reviewed data on schools, obesity, prenatal care, cancer incidence and mortality, and drug and alcohol abuse and learned, among other things, 70 percent of adults in Greenup County are considered overweight or obese, 15 percent of children 2 to 4 are obese and 91 percent of women receive adequate prenatal care.
There were 249 new cancer cases diagnosed in 2009 and 110 cancer deaths in 2008 for a five-year mortality rate of 203.27. That is lower than the state rate of 210.58.
Crimes are committed every eight hours in Greenup County and there were 110 drug arrests in 2011, 147 driving under the influence arrests and 149 drug/narcotic offenses.
The group will meet again to review the diverse data and use it to make plans for future refinements to the health care system.
MIKE JAMES can be reached at email@example.com or (606) 326-2652.
By MIKE JAMES
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