Thursday, July 7, 2011
A Community in Need
Recently the WMHS senior staff received a preliminary report on the 2011 Community Health Needs Assessment, included in that report were the demographics of the region. All that I can say is "wow, do we have our work cut out for us". In Western Maryland, we have a higher poverty level, median household income is $36K, but in Maryland it is $51K. We have a higher number of high school graduates, but fewer going on to college and a higher rate of illiteracy at 11% of the population. We have limited diversity with 91.4% being caucasian and a very high elderly population. In Allegany County, 18% of our population is over 65 compared to 11.8% in Maryland and 12.6% in the US. With the strongest predictors of health and wellness being social, economic and environmental factors, WMHS is partnering with the Allegany Health Dept. in an effort to address those factors that influence health. A tall order, but few others are stepping up.