Aurora news releases
Milwaukee Health Department releases report on community healthFriday, March 30, 2007
Violence, alcohol and drug use, and chronic disease top concerns of residents
The Milwaukee Health Department has a better picture of the health of local residents. A new community health survey indicates that the three top health concerns of Milwaukee residents are violence, alcohol and drug use, and chronic disease.
According to the survey, 58% of residents felt violence was the top health issue, followed by 49% of residents who cited alcohol or drug use and 48% of residents who mentioned chronic diseases like diabetes, cancer and obesity. Teen pregnancy was mentioned by 46% of residents. A similar survey of central city residents ranked the top issues as violence, alcohol and drug use, and teen pregnancy followed by chronic disease.
"This provocative report provides insights as to what the community is thinking and what they are doing. It's provides a solid platform to move forward in addressing priority public health issues in our city," said Bevan K. Baker, Commissioner of Health.
While 47% of residents rated their overall health as excellent or very good, 21% of those who were surveyed said their overall health was fair or poor. That's a higher percentage than 3 years earlier when 17% of respondents rated their health as fair or poor.
A growing percentage of residents were diagnosed with high blood pressure or high blood cholesterol and the percentage of residents considered overweight has increased in the past 3 years. One in 5 residents reported binge drinking, a figure that is slightly below the state average but significantly higher than the national average.
The survey of city of Milwaukee residents focused on issues such as access to health care, tobacco use, alcohol use, diet, physical activity, cancer prevention, heart health, injury prevention, immunizations, communicable diseases, mental health and chronic disease.
"This survey offers a detailed look at the health of our community and will help us to better prioritize resources to offer services that meet the most pressing needs of our community," said Mayor Tom Barrett. "We have to continue to work to make sure Milwaukee residents get the care and information they need to improve their health outcomes and avoid greater health risks and disease down the road."
The survey was commissioned by Aurora Health Care in partnership with the Milwaukee Health Department and Center for Urban Population Health Research. Among the key findings:
Residents can review the full report at www.aurora.org/commhealth.
JKV Research LLC, an independent research firm that specializes in community health surveys, conducted the survey.
The Milwaukee survey is part of a broader initiative Aurora Health Care is spearheading across communities in eastern Wisconsin. In total, about 2,000 adults were surveyed in Milwaukee and another 1,995 residents were surveyed in central city neighborhoods.
The surveys will allow Aurora to document population health indicators to help guide its clinical quality improvement efforts.
Aurora Health Care is a not-for-profit Wisconsin health care provider and a nationally recognized leader in efforts to improve the quality of health care. Aurora has care sites in more than 90 communities throughout eastern Wisconsin.
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Contact: Raquel Filmanowicz, City of Milwaukee Health Department (414-286-3175) or Ron Irwin, Aurora Health Care (414-647-3405)