Posted: Sunday, March 3rd 2013 at 9:13pm
Vision 2030 health study identifies threats
By Jerry Gunn Staff
GAINESVILLE - Vision 2030, Gainesville's organization that promotes future growth and improvement, has completed a three year study focusing on health care concerns that include high rates of obesity and diabetes among Gainesville/Hall's adult population.
At last Monday's Hall County Commission work session meeting, Mimi Collins, one of Vision 2030's board members, told commissioners this new study goes before the Greater Hall Chamber of Commerce Health Care Committee Wednesday morning at 8:00 a.m.
Vision 2030's Health Care Consortium committee includes representatives from the District Health Department, Longstreet Clinic, Northeast Georgia Medical Center, Good News Clinics and community volunteers actively involved in local health care delivery.
"We've met on and off for the better part of two or three years talking about health concerns in our community," Collins said. "We started looking at what could we do to facilitate change in our community, recognizing all of the health initiatives that are going on around wellness and related topics."
According to Collins, there was not a good way to measure the success of those initiatives, and that was the primary reason for the study.
"We thought if we could provide a study that would give us a benchmark of the community, of what we look like from a health status standpoint, that would be helpful to all these various initiatives that everybody seems to be working on to improve wellness and health in our community," Collins added.
The study data came from medical information system technology made available by health care Consortium members.
"They pulled data out of their electronic medical records," Collins said. "This was actually data that we were able to pull out of existing information systems, put it into a similar format, and conduct a study based on the submitted data."
The study was based on 22,000 adults, 18 years old and older, and Collins said statistics on diabetes and obesity are high.
"Similar to the state of Georgia, we have an obesity problem in our community," Collins pointed out. "Hypertension was high and the glucose test indicated a high incidence of diabetes. One of the things that was surprising to us was our obesity rate. Of those 22,000 medical records, we evaluated the obesity rate was between 75 and 80 percent of that population we looked at compared to the state average of about 64.8 percent. We're worse off than the state and its something we clearly as a community need to address."
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