McKay-Dee Hospital

This Standard-Examiner file photo shows the McKay-Dee Hospital campus in 2018.

OGDEN — People living in the Weber and Morgan county area have higher than average rates of mental distress, depression, suicide and drug poisoning fatalities.

That’s according to preliminary data from a 2019 Community Health Needs Assessment conducted by Intermountain Healthcare. IHC regularly conducts CHNAs for 22 hospitals in Utah and southeastern Idaho, including an assessment done specifically for the area served by McKay-Dee Hospital, which defined as Weber and Morgan counties. The assessment is used to identify health priorities the local health care system needs to address.

Kristy Jones, IHC community health improvement manager, recently discussed the assessment with Ogden officials during an Ogden City Council work session. Jones’ presentation to the city showed that 20.6% of adults living in the McKay-Dee coverage area experience “frequent mental distress,” which is defined as experiencing stress, depression or other emotional problems for 14 or more days in a month’s time. According to Jones, the Utah average is 17.5%.

Slightly more than 23% of Weber-Morgan adults have been told by a doctor, nurse or other health professional that they have a depressive disorder. The state average there is 21%.

During the assessment period, the Weber-Morgan area had 28.6 suicide deaths per 100,000 residents and 27.2 drug poisoning deaths per 100,000 residents. Utah averages were about 22 deaths per 100,000 residents for both measures.

The McKay-Dee CHNA is completed every three years, Jones said, and the organization is currently in the process of reviewing the 2019 assessment and implementation plan with Intermountain’s Board of Trustees. Jones said the final report for 2019 will be published at the end of December. Once finalized, it can be viewed at intermountainhealthcare.org/about/who-we-are/chna-reports.

Jones said IHC’s community priorities for the next three years include preventing suicide deaths, preventing substance abuse, improving mental well-being, improving immunization rates and preventing chronic conditions related to unhealthy weight. The Weber-Morgan area also had higher than state average rates of diabetes and high blood pressure.

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