2021 health assessment: COVID-19 remains top QC health concern

Local News

Public-health officials with various agencies across the Quad Cities joined forces Tuesday to release data from their 2021 Community Health Assessment.

This year the agencies highlighted 13 key “areas of opportunity” — elements of public health — community members feel have a particularly negative impact. These included respiratory disease, heart disease, nutrition and fitness, and housing.

Representatives from the health departments present emphasized economic disparities and social inequalities throughout the Quad Cities contributed to disproportionate availability of health-care resources to various communities. Their data found adults ages 40-64, Black respondents, and those living in low-income communities typically reported the lowest levels of health-care satisfaction.

“People now understand the social determinants are the root cause of poor health,” said Janet Hill, with the Rock Island County Health Department. “People who do not understand diversity and cultural sensitivity and trust while seeking healthcare services — that is a problem for our participants.”

This health-care approach parallels growing concern in COVID-19 deaths — specifically in Rock Island County. The county saw 341 COVID-19 deaths in early September — that number has since climbed to 372 as of Monday,.

Health officials remind the community the pandemic is ongoing. They label is a “Pandemic of the Unvaccinated.,” and urge Quad City residents to get their COVID-19 boosters when they can.

“We use this information to inform the work we do every day in our conversations and in thinking about how we plan, provide education and other resources for the broader community,” said Nicole Carkner with the Quad City Health Initiative.

The local health agencies encourage residents to provide feedback on the health report. To provide feedback, visit here.

The evaluation is conducted every three years and sets precedence for each three-year cycle’s primary focus in terms of approaching public health.

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