Henry County Public Health updates Henry County after Community Survey

Henry County Public Health, the Henry County Health Center, and ISU Extension and Outreach partnered to complete a new community health assessment of Henry County. This assessment will allow them to form a 3-year action plan to improve the health of Henry County.

They began by surveying the community and results were shared at a recent Healthy Henry County Communities meeting. A few of the findings from this survey include:

– The top health concerns in Henry County are Mental Health, Obesity, Substance Abuse, and Aging Problems.

– One of the questions asked of surveyors in Henry County was the five most Important factors for a healthy community and good quality of life. The top five answers were access to health care, good schools, low crime/safe neighborhoods, good jobs and healthy economy, and quality and affordable housing.

– When asked which barriers keep individuals and their families from being healthy, Henry County residents top 5 concerns were low wages, access to mental health care, lack of free recreational opportunities, health insurance coverage, and access to specialty care. Similarly, Henry County residents reported mental health services, specialty physicians, healthier food, wellness services, and affordable health insurance as missing or most needed in our community to improve their health.

– Residents were also asked what things our community does well. The five top answers were locally owned and operated businesses, parks and recreation, trails and sidewalks, quality schools, and reasonable commutes. The top five answers in areas our community could improve comprised of affordable and quality housing, affordable and quality childcare, variety of food options, good jobs, and transportation options (such as taxi, bus, and bike).

Healthy Henry County Communities members also reviewed local health data related to findings in the survey. That data showed the following:

– Henry County ranked lower than both the state of Iowa and the United States in cases of Diabetes and Prediabetes. 7.8% of adults age 20+ diagnosed with diabetes, this is 0.6% lower than the state of Iowa and 1.2% lower than the United States percentage at 9%.

– In the category of Heart Disease and Stroke, Henry County ranked higher in percentage of Medicare beneficiaries with heart disease at 30.1% (6.1% higher than Iowa, 3.2% higher than national), coronary heart disease mortality at 129.5 cases per 100,000 people (27.2 higher than Iowa, 38 higher than national), and stroke mortality at 47.8 per 100,000 residents (5.4 higher than Iowa, 10.2 higher than national).

– In Henry County 18% of adults are smokers compared to 17% in the state of Iowa.

– The leading causes of death under age 75 in Henry County are

o Cancer, the top 5 most common being lung & bronchus, breast, prostate, colon & rectum, and melanoma of the skin. (Risk Factors: Obesity, diet, physical activity, alcohol, cigarette smoking and tobacco use, infections, radiation, and environmental risk factors)

o Heart Disease (Risk Factors: High Blood Pressure, High LDL Cholesterol, diabetes, smoking and secondhand smoke exposure, obesity, unhealthy diet, and physical activity)

o Accidents

Kelly Carr, Community Outreach Coordinator with Henry County Public Health, states that looking at both the survey results and related statistics helps give them an overview of the major health concerns and contributing factors for Henry County. They will then use this information to create a 3-year health improvement plan that Henry County Public Health, Healthy Henry County Communities, Henry County Health Center and ISU Extension and Outreach will work on together. The Community Health Assessment and Health Improvement Plan will be posted when completed at HealthyHenryCounty.org/PublicHealth.