13 April 2009

Good Gov Monthly

Found on the blog at yorkcounts.org
March 2009

In this issue:
  • Community summit draws record crowd
  • A snapshot from the Indicators Report: Obesity
  • Speaking of a healthy York
  • Group assembles for public safety study

Community summit draws record crowd

YorkCounts is involved in a lot of different community activities, but at its core, we’re trying to do two things: build a wider audience for the Indicators Report and generate more discussion about solutions to problems identified in the report. If attendance at the most recent YorkCounts summit is any indication, the audience is growing. Nearly 300 people squeezed into the Yorktowne Hotel’s Continental Ballroom March 20 to hear an update on the work of YorkCounts. They heard Bob Woods give a brief overview of the information in the 2009 Indicators Report, which is now beginning to offer trend-over-time context to some of the benchmarks. They also met some of the folks who have done a lot of great work on behalf of YorkCounts in the past 10 years. We thanked Don Gogniat and Austin Hunt for outstanding board service, and gave Bob Woods a special volunteer award for his contributions to an array of YorkCounts efforts. We also recognized officials from Spring Garden and Springettsbury townships for the work they did in merging their respective paid fire departments in 2008. It’s the kind of visionary regional thinking that YorkCounts advocates.

A snapshot from the Indicators Report: Obesity

What it says: The York County number has stayed flat, around 25 percent since 2001, which is good. But the fact one out of every four county residents is obese is alarming. And, according to data from the Healthy York County Coalition, if you include the number of overweight residents, the number of York County residents with a weight problem goes up to 67.5 percent. Those raw numbers, combined with the fact that obesity contributes to chronic health problems such as diabetes and hypertension, reinforce the need to find ways to get residents healthier: giving them new tools for exercise, proper diet and health literacy.

Speaking of a healthy York

The Healthy York County Coalition held its annual Health Assessment Community Forum April 3. Robin Rohrbaugh’s group presented lots of great data from David Polk and the Lancaster County consulting firm Holleran on how York County stacks up across a variety of health indicators. Attendees representing several county health stakeholders also heard updates from the coalition's various task forces, including the exciting stuff from Aligning Forces for Quality. That group is almost a year into work intended to improve the delivery of health care services in York County. The four-year, $1.6 million project is funded by a grant from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The York-Adams county area was one of only 14 communities nationwide to receive the grant. We applaud the effort.

Group assembles for public safety study

Representatives from nine York County municipalities participated in the first meeting of a public safety study workgroup. The April 1 meeting was the first step toward a study that will hopefully produce a wealth of information about the pros and cons of regionalizing police services in York and surrounding suburban townships. York County is already home to several regional police departments, each providing services to a half-dozen or so municipalities. The study will try to find out if there are other ways to consolidate services across York and its surrounding suburban townships and what the costs and cost savings might be.

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The YorkCounts E-Newsletter is written by Dan Fink. Reach YorkCounts by mail at 105 Leader Heights Road, Suite 2, York, PA 17403; by telephone at 717/650-1460; or by e-mail at yorkcounts@gmail.com. Visit YorkCounts online at yorkcounts.org.


Deron S. said...

Regarding the obesity problem, the physician group I work with has recently hired a registered dietitian to counsel overweight and obese women here in York. If anyone has any thoughts on what we can do to make the biggest impact possible, please respond. It might include partnering with HYCC and other public organizations to deliver a coordinated message to the public. Considering the magnitude of the problem, all input is greatly appreciated.

YorkCounts said...

I think you're on the right track approaching HYCC. A local media outlet - WITF, the local TV and newspapers - might also want to be involved in your effort.

- Dan Fink