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Health and Wellness

Did you know that Wayne County is one of the least healthy counties in the State of Indiana? We also have the lowest median household income in our area: $41,813 in Wayne County compared to the U.S. average at $57,652. What’s the relationship between health and income? It means the difference between a thriving community and preventable diseases and conditions that act as a barrier to upward economic mobility. In this pillar of Our People, Forward Wayne County is focused on activities and endeavors that influence Wayne County community health – including how long and how well our citizens live.

Reid Health released its most recent Community Health Needs Assessment and revealed a list of top concerns for East Central Indiana:

  • Access to Health Services
  • Cancer
  • Children’s Health
  • Diabetes
  • Economy
  • Exercise, Nutrition & Weight
  • Heart Disease & Stroke
  • Low Income & Underserved
  • Mental Health & Mental Disorders
  • Older Adults & Aging
  • Substance Abuse
  • Transportation

From the research data and feedback from community focus groups, Reid Health determined the priorities to address were:

  • Mental Health & Substance Misuse
    • Access to mental health services is limited – especially concerning for children, families, and seniors
    • Substance misuse is a financial burden for families and the community
    • Untreated past trauma and stigma related to accessing care compounds the issues of substance misuse and mental health
  • Physical Activity, Nutrition & Weight
    • Access and availability of affordable healthy foods is a concern for low-income families and older adults in rural areas
    • Health literacy should be addressed on topics of healthy eating, healthy lifestyles, and disease prevention
    • Need for cost effective, accessible exercise options
  • Adverse Childhood Experiences
    • Rates of uninsured children
    • Rates of child abuse in certain counties
    • Impact of parental drug abuse on youth
    • Obesity and sedentary lifestyle among youth

Forward Wayne County will support programs that seek to address Wayne County community health concerns and will work closely with community partners dedicating to improving the health and wellness for all. In addition to health concerns, we’re also tracking other indicators of success in Wayne County on our Big Picture Indicators Dashboard.