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Morning Sun
  • County works on health surveys

  • It’s no secret that Crawford County and Southeast Kansas traditionally end up at the bottom of the state health rankings almost every year. It’s clear to Janis Goedeke, Crawford County health officer, that something needs to change. But she’s leaving it up to area residents to decide what particular areas need to be changed.

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  • It’s no secret that Crawford County and Southeast Kansas traditionally end up at the bottom of the state health rankings almost every year. It’s clear to Janis Goedeke, Crawford County health officer, that something needs to change. But she’s leaving it up to area residents to decide what particular areas need to be changed.
    Goedeke and health staff have been touring the area and encouraging residents to fill out the community health assessments. They’ve gone to the Four States Farm Show and many other places. On Friday, three more assessments were completed as Goedeke had each of the county commissioners fill them out.
    “We’ve had several hundred completed. We want several thousand,” Goedek said.
    The assessments, she said, are for those in the county to determine which areas should be the highest priorities when dealing with the threats to health in the county and region. Goedeke said the whole “Lower Eight” district was completing the surveys, which includes Labette, Neosho, Crawford, Cherokee, Wilson, Montgomery, Elk and Chautauqua counties.
    “Look at the community and see what they would have changed. The opportunity is there to express your voice,” she said. “It’s important for people to complete these surveys. It takes just a short amount of time.”
    Surveys can be filled out online at www.crawfordcountykansas.org.
    Goedeke was also at the county commission meeting to present awards to the winners of the health departments’ Photo Voice competition.
    “The surveys are only open to anyone over 18 years old,” Goedeke said. “The youth are so important to the community, and the youth are very important to us.”
    Commissioners also discussed the budget at the meeting, scheduling a work session at 8 a.m. for Tuesday, Aug. 7. In order to trim the budget, commissioners are planning to remove a bit from the elections office budget in 2013, which made County Clerk Don Pyle wary for future years.
    “You’ll get it back next year. That’s a promise, Don,” said commissioner Carl Wood.
    Other commissioners noted that the budget process is getting down to the nitty gritty, and that tough decisions will have to be made.
    “I think the point is that everybody has to make sacrifices. If we don’t, everybody is going to have to pay,” said commissioner Bob Kmiec. “It’s time to get it done.”
    Lastly, Pyle predicted the county would see about a 20-25 percent turnout for the primary election.
    Andrew Nash can be reached at andrew.nash@morningsun.net or by calling 231-2600 ext. 140.
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