Mesa County Health Department Announces 3 "Winning Battles"
KREX News Room
MESA COUNTY, Colo.- Obesity, suicide and unintended pregnancies are the three listed "winning battles" by Mesa County officials. They each rank high in Mesa County, in fact, they rank higher than the Colorado State average.
The health department obtained these three issues by a number of steering committees in order to focus in on them for the next several years and prevent them from increasing any more.
The Mesa County Health Department Director, Jeff Kuhr, said they are working on finding out just how to implement helpful ways to stop these problems. "First off we want to not exceed the state in any of these variables and we do in all three, so our first objective would try to be to get to where we are in the State of Colorado as a whole," stated Kuhr.
The State of Colorado wants each county to overcome their biggest challenges, and Mesa County officials focused on suicide, teen pregnancies and obesity. " To choose just a few things to try and work towards, so that it doesn't seem so overwhelming, and obesity is going to be very overwhelming in and of itself," said Kuhr.
The teen pregnancy rate is 53 per 1,000 people, more than double the national average. Last year, a total of 44 deaths from suicide within Mesa County higher than the state's average, along with 22 percent of adults who are obese. The health department wants to tackle these problems without adding new programs, but by bringing in fresh ideas to address the issues.
"Really, I think our first in addressing any of our health issues is to rally our community and to try and work with what we have existing in the community; rather than trying to go out and look for new programs," said Kuhr.
Officials say some of the problems with obesity could be that 50 percent of Mesa County's food is fast food. The health department officials say they will continue to find ways to make more strategies to combat these issues.