|
|
|
Morning Sun
  • County rates poor in health

  • Crawford County Commissioners got a health report on the county Friday from Janis Goedeke, county public health officer, and it’s not good.



    “We’re at the bottom of the barrel, but we’re trying to change that,” she said. “But we didn’t get here overnight, and we won’t change it overnight.”

    • email print
  • Crawford County Commissioners got a health report on the county Friday from Janis Goedeke, county public health officer, and it’s not good.
    “We’re at the bottom of the barrel, but we’re trying to change that,” she said. “But we didn’t get here overnight, and we won’t change it overnight.”
    Goedeke presented commissioners with results of a Lower 8 Community Health Assessment conducted over the Lower 8 counties  of southeast Kansas.
    During the summer of 2012 the Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas administered a survey to residents of Chautauqua, Cherokee, Crawford, Elk, Labette, Montgomery, Neosho and Wilson Counties. A report was compiled based on responses of the 3,112 participants.
    “This is the people speaking,” Goedeke said.
    Three questions were asked. First was, “What do you think are the three most important factors for a healthy community?”
    The top three responses were the same for the regional report and the Crawford County section of the report, but listed in different order.  The regional assessment listed the top three factors as being a good place to raise children, having good schools and having good jobs and a healthy economy.
    Crawford County residents ranked having good jobs and a healthy economy first, followed by being a good place to raise children and having good schools.
    In the next question, respondents were asked to list the top three health problems in the community. Crawford County, and the region as a whole, placed cancer first, followed by diabetes, then heart attack and stroke.
    The final question was on the three most important risky behaviors in the community, and again Crawford County and the region identified the same behaviors. Drug abuse was first, followed by alcohol abuse and being overweight. Additional factors included lack of exercise and tobacco use.
    “Our next step will be to bring in community partners for an all-day meeting,” Goedeke said.
    She added that she’s working on obtaining a grant to address the problem of changing county health status.
    “I want you to know that we are working together as a region to get funding,” Goedeke said.
    “It’s a particular interest to me because we are ranked worst in the state,” said commissioner Linda Grilz. “This survey shows that a health environment involves more than disease, it involves a healthy economy. We have to bring our health assessment to the forefront and get people thinking because this affects everything.”
    Commissioner Carl Wood was pessimistic about getting funding.
    “We’re down here in this corner of the state and I don’t think we’re going to get any help in funding,” he said. “I think we have to do this ourselves.”
    Goedeke acknowledged that it’s a battle to get funding.
    Page 2 of 2 - “You don’t give up,” she said. “If you don’t get funded for a grant, go back over it and see what you could do better.”
    Goedeke added that personal responsibility will probably also play a role, with people taking responsibility for their children and their homes.
    “You have several generations living in poverty now, and they don’t know anything but poverty and have no hope of getting out,” she said.
    Wood said he would like to bring welfare back to the county rather than the state.
    “Let’s find jobs for the people, a job they can enjoy and get some personal pride,” said commissioner Bob Kmiec.
    Commissioners also heard from Joseph Adams, director of Crawford County EMS, who is concerned about the change-over from Medicaid to the new KanCare system and how that will affect reimbursement for EMS services.
    “I think we’re going to take a hit on reimbursements,” Adams said.
    Richard Pfeiffer. Crawford County Health Department executive administrator,  said that he will be signing a contract for the health department and Mental Health, and that EMS services could be piggy-backed onto this.
    “Those who were on Medicaid will have the choice of three insurance providers, and we have to have contracts with all three,” Pfeiffer said. “I think the best pressure Joey can have over not being paid is to say, ‘I’m on your contract’.”
    He added that the changes are overwhelming.
    “II don’t know that in my 30 years of service to you that I’ve seen such a big change in so little time,” Pfeiffer said.
    Adams had more bad news, reporting to commissioners that Mobile 5 has some issues.
    “The engine will need to be replaced,” he said. “We can get a new one for $26,000, with a two-year warranty and unlimited mileage. If they rebuild the engine it will cost $20,000 and we’d get a one-year warranty with an 8,000 mile limit.”
    Commissioners told him to proceed with getting a new engine.
    Ed Fields, county noxious weeds director, showed commissioners a video on a new DuPont herbicide and asked permission to test it on selected sections of road. Cost will be $1,000.
    “Up front, this is money, but long-term it’s a cost-saver,” Fields said.
     
    The county told him to proceed, but weren’t so encouraging on his request for a helper.
    “Part-time or full-time, we’re not hiring,” Wood said.
    Wood also told commissioners that he had gone ahead and purchased a used roller for $12,000 from the Kansas Department of Transportation.
      • calendar