HEALTH IN the OMAHA-COUNCIL BLUFFS Area
Our community may be experiencing more health problems than it should because many of our neighbors don't have access to basic needs like healthy food and healthcare services.
The field of health is wide-ranging and includes everything from disease, to physical activity, nutrition, mental health, access to health services, and much more.
Examining health trends in our community reveals significant areas of need, particularly related to the number of low-income individuals without healthcare coverage. We also see gaps in the accessibility of healthy, affordable foods which can influence obesity rates and hunger, and a need for better quality data related to behavioral health and childhood trauma.
Moving the indicators requires more dialogue around these issues. Conversations about obesity are necessary—not only about the increased obesity rates, but also about the barriers individuals face in choosing a healthy, affordable lifestyle. Additionally, Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) rates continue to be a serious concern within our community.
In 2018, the three health departments of Douglas, Sarpy/Cass and Pottawattamie came together for the first time to produce one data report summarizing each of their local community’s health data – including shared areas of inequities and unique areas of need. After several rounds of resident engagement Mental Health and Access to Care emerged as top opportunities for our region to address. Moving forward, the county health departments will convene residents and other stakeholders to start to shape the Community Health Improvement Plan.
Because the field of health is both complicated and far-reaching, it is important to remember that these indicators are all connected to one another, and that the progress or decline of one can have a significant effect on the outcomes of another.