Suicide, obesity among top Davis public health priorities

Feb 14 2014 - 8:31am

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CLEARFIELD -- The Davis County Health Department's first ever five-year community health improvement plan identifies suicide, obesity, access to behavioral health services and air quality as its top public health priorities.

The plan, presented to the health board Tuesday, focuses on health issues having the greatest need for attention and greatest impact within the county. The action plan is a follow-up to a Community Health Assessment "snapshot" completed by the health department in July 2013.

"Community partners have worked together on this community health improvement plan which identifies effective programs and policies in an effort to make Davis County the healthiest county in Utah," Health Director Lewis R. Garrett said.

Davis County is listed as the sixth healthiest county in the state, according to a national report called the County Health Rankings released in 2013.

The same rankings show that the county is in the top 10 percent of all counties in the nation for some health indicators, including premature death rate, adult smoking, obesity, physical inactivity and the motor vehicle crash rate.

Representatives of the community reviewed the findings of the Davis County Community Health Assessment completed in 2013, and voted on priority health issues, developing a plan to address the health priorities, said Isa Perry, community outreach planner for the health department.

"The county's leading health issues and selected priorities are suicide, obesity, access to behavioral health services and air quality," Perry said in a prepared statement.

Health board chairman Don Wood, former Clearfield mayor and a local businessman, said the effort of the plan is particularly significant because it represents a community-wide strategic plan to improve health in the county.

"We (the board) pledge our support for this improvement plan, and encourage involvement from community leaders, service providers, and citizens as we all strategically align to focus on these four priority health issues," Wood said.

Every person in the county is affected by these issues in some way, Garrett said.

"There is now a plan in place to address these important topics, with the ultimate goal to improve health within our county," he said. "We all have a stake in creating a healthier community and no single agency can combat the leading health challenges of the county alone."

For more information contact 801-525-5212.

The 2014-2018 Davis County Community Health Improvement Plan is available online at http://www.daviscountyutah.gov/health/featured_items/CHIP_web.pdf.

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