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SIH releases community health needs assessment

Surveying southern Illinois healthcare
Published: Apr. 19, 2022 at 6:56 PM CDT
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HARRISBURG, IL. (KFVS) - Poverty in Southern Illinois is increasingly becoming a problem when it comes to people getting adequate health care.

That’s the results of a survey conducted by the Southern Illinois Healthcare system.

SIH says that’s just one issue they found after conducting it’s community health needs assessment.

Tuesday in Harrisburg officials held a news conference to talk about ways to improve on healthcare.

“As we think about improving the health of our community and the members of our community, it’s important we identify what needs to be improved,” said Matt Winkleman Family physician with SIH Harrisburg.

SIH released results of a new healthcare survey.

“Hopefully as we work together to identify ways we can decrease the barriers for patients to access care to improve their own management of their chronic conditions, well hopefully see improved health outcomes,” said Winkleman.

One finding, half the homes with children in the SIH service area live in poverty.

For a household of 4, that less than $28,000 a year.

“We struggle in this community with high rates of poverty, and that creates difficulty with access to food and access to housing. It contributes to problems with mental health which we have a very high rate of in our communities and all of those things that make it harder for patients to address chronic diseases,” said Winkleman.

And SIH also says mental health is another critical area of the assessment.

“We believe that a lot of is related to mental health issues that we have not addressed, or not addressed the way it should of been addressed. We noted that patients depression get older, people do not want to talk about it because of the stigma they don’t come out and talk about their emotions and issues,” said Naeem Qureshi Medical Director for SIH Behavioral Health.

The Hospital says it’ll also continue to focus on chronic illnesses such as cardiovascular disease, stroke and diabetes.

“To create awareness. And let the people know how to identify and let them know there’s help available. If they come out and talk about their problem it will be easier for us to challenge them too resource to get help for them,” said Qureshi.

SIH says they will take action, such as more outreach events and healthcare screenings in communities and counties with the most need.

For more information on this assessment, click here.

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