Community Health Needs Assessment
Survey Focuses on Child, Adolescent Health in the Metro
Parents Identify Obesity as Top Concern
Children’s Hospital & Medical Center is announcing the results of a community health needs assessment focused specifically on children and adolescents in the metropolitan area. The assessment, conducted in early 2012 as a joint endeavor with Boys Town National Research Hospital, is the first to concentrate exclusively on pediatric populations in Douglas, Sarpy and Pottawattamie Counties.
“Children’s Hospital & Medical Center is pleased to collaborate with Boys Town National Research Hospital on this effort. By focusing this assessment on young people, we’re learning about significant health issues that are specifically affecting families in the greater metropolitan region,” said Gary A. Perkins, FACHE, president and CEO of Children’s Hospital & Medical Center.
The assessment finds that many parents consider obesity to be the number one health issue in the community. An estimated 30 percent of metro area children ages 5 – 17 are likely overweight or obese based on height and weight measurements shared by parents. The survey also uncovers a surprising perception: 68 percent of parents with overweight children and 43 percent of parents with obese children believe their child is “about the right weight.”
Substance abuse is the second highest concern among parents of adolescents, followed by sexually transmitted diseases and mental health issues.
A majority of families, 86.5 percent, rate their children’s overall health as excellent or very good. Nasal and hay fever allergies (23.8%) are considered the most prevalent health condition, followed by other allergies (16.2%), speech/language problems (10.8%), ADHD (9.4%), and asthma (8.7%).
The assessment also identifies access to health care as an issue for families. Nearly 21 percent of parents report a difficulty or delay in obtaining health care services for their child in the past year. Twelve percent say inconvenient office hours prevented them from taking their child to the doctor, while seven percent of parents do not have a medical home (or primary place) for care.
The health needs assessment is based on a telephone survey of parents, and discussion groups comprised of medical professionals, social service providers, and business and community leaders.
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