Healthy Washington County released the 2019 assessment for community health needs.
The report was created to allow health providers to identify the health priorities within the county.
Coming in as number one was the need for more substance abuse awareness. According to Allen Twigg who is the executive director for behavioral and community health at Meritus Medical Center, substance abuse continues to go through the years.
“In 2018, Washington County had the highest number of opioid fatalities of any year, so we’ve seen that trend increase for about the past eight years,” Twigg said.
According to Twigg, every three years not-for-profit hospitals must conduct an assessment of the health needs of people living in our community.
Over 1,500 people took the community health survey along with focus groups and interviews.
The Meritus Medical Center, Washington County Health Department, Washington County Chamber of Commerce, United Way, YMCA and Consumer Goods Forum are part of this initiative’s leadership.
Healthy Washington County is a coalition of public and private organizations. Meritus reports that it’s mission is to improve the health of residents in the county.
The top health needs identified for Washington County were prioritized as:
1. Substance Abuse
2. Mental Health
3. Obesity and Weight loss
6. Heart Disease and Hypertension
7. Adverse Childhood Events
8. Senior Elder issues
10. Nutrition and Healthy Eating
13. Recreation and Exercise
14. Access to Health Care
16. Teenage Pregnancy
19. Affordable Health Care
22. Child health
25. Affordable Housing
26. Vision / Hearing