Whitesburg Appalachian Regional Hospital Community CEO Dena Sparkman shared the results of the ARH Community Health Needs Assessment with members of the Rotary Club of Whitesburg during the July 6 meeting held at Pine Mountain Grill.
Every three years, individuals who use the services of ARH are surveyed to determine how to better meet their health-related needs. The three priorities that were identified and will be addressed over the next three years are nutrition and exercise, smoking cessation and social media.
As ARH is a provider of healthcare in Letcher and surrounding counties, Sparkman indicated that ARH should be a leader in these efforts.
Sparkman said obesity is a serious concern for individuals of all ages and it is important that ARH provides the education and training to address this problem through information on diet and exercise. Smoking cessation will focus on employees, patients and the community, she stated. On average, smokers die 10 years earlier than nonsmokers. Cigarette smoking is responsible for more than 480,000 deaths per year in the United States. Sparkman said ARH will focus on providing the resources to help individuals stop smoking, which will greatly reduce their risk for disease and early death and that social media will provide more exposure to the services and resources available through ARH.
The administration and staff of Whitesburg ARH are committed to addressing the healthcare needs of the people in Letcher County, said Sparkman, and welcome comments and suggestions.