Good News and Not So Good News From Community Health Assessment
The Missoula City-County Health department has completed its 2017 Community Health Assessment, and there’s a combination of good news and not-so-good news from a variety of sources.
Accreditation Specialist Robin Nielsen-Cerquone said over 30 community groups contributed to the study that provides an overview of Missoula’s health.
“There are so many different issues here,” said Nielsen-Cerquone. “There’s mental health, infectious diseases, education, housing, poverty, tobacco use and so many other concerns. Take childhood obesity. Look at it one way and today those levels have plateaued, so the efforts are really showing, however, our levels are four times higher than they were 40 years ago.”
Continuing on the ‘good news, not-so-good news theme, Nielsen-Cerquone offered several examples.
“Unemployment rates are low, but poverty rates are still high and there are some pockets of really deep poverty in the Missoula area,” she said. “There are lots of services available, but sometimes it’s unclear how to get them, or people don’t even know about them. Healthcare coverage is way up over the past three years thanks to the Affordable Care Act, but new changes that will affect the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion could completely erase these gains.”
The complete report is available on the Missoula City County Health department website.