HIS Releases Community Health Needs Assessment

HARRISBURG, IL. (KFVS) – Poverty in Southern Illinois is increasingly becoming an issue when it comes to obtaining adequate health care.

This is the result of a survey conducted by the Southern Illinois Health System.

SIH says this is just one issue they found after conducting their community health needs assessment.

On Tuesday in Harrisburg, officials held a press conference to discuss ways to improve health care.

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

The SIH has released the results of a new health survey.

“I hope that as we work together to identify ways to reduce barriers to patients’ access to care to improve their own management of their chronic conditions, we hope to see better health outcomes,” Winkleman said.

One observation, half of the households with children in the SIH area live in poverty.

For a household of 4 people, it’s less than $28,000 per year.

“We struggle in this community with high rates of poverty, which creates challenges in accessing food and accessing housing. It contributes to the mental health issues that we have a very high rate of in our communities and all those things that make it harder for patients to deal with chronic conditions,” Winkleman said.

And SIH also says that mental health is another critical area for assessment.

“We think a lot of the issues are related to mental health issues that we haven’t addressed, or not treated as they should have been. We have noticed that depressed patients are getting older, people don’t want to talk about it because of the stigma, they don’t go out and talk about their emotions and issues,” said Naeem Qureshi, Medical Director of SIH Behavioral Health. .

The hospital says it will also continue to focus on chronic conditions such as cardiovascular disease, stroke and diabetes.

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

SIH says they will take action, such as more outreach events and health care screenings in communities and counties that need it the most.

For more information on this assessment, click on here.

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