KENNEWICK, Wash. - When it comes to the community's health as a whole people in the Tri-Cities say they are most concerned with the affordability and cost of health care.
The Benton Franklin Community Health Alliance is crunching the numbers after getting about 1,800 responses to their community health survey. The initial information has been compiled but executive director Carol Moser said the work is far from over.
"We are not done with a complete assessment yet. The assessment is a year and a half long process in which we have four different assessments that gauge the opinion of the community that look at the actual health status of the community. We look at the forces of change and we look at the total public health system and what it provides," Moser said.
The survey showed that there could be about 40,000 people in the Tri-Cities who don't have health insurance.
"Universally, across all the income levels, affordability of health care emerges as the number one issue. That was pretty significant. The second finding was access to health care serves, especially lack of insurance," Moser said.
The third issue to take precedence is obesity. Moser said the irony is that we live in a region with lots of fresh produce available and a vast network of recreation. But, she said, health isn't only measured in weight.
"You always want your community to be healthy and we measure health in a very broad based way. In terms of social health, mental health, vocational health, spiritual health," Moser said.
The last time a community health survey was done was nearly 20 years ago. Moser said they will now be doing surveys like this every few years.