Health advisory group reviews citizen survey

By Alberta Stojkovic - For The Sentinel

MOUNT GILEAD — The Morrow County Healthcare Initiative advisory group (MC-HIC) reviewed 252 survey responses that were returned by Morrow County residents.

The advisory group released the survey the last week of March and looked at the responses at their April 12 meeting. Several healthcare needs in Morrow County stood out in answers from the 10 questions in the survey.

Top concerns

Access to specialists was the number one concern in three questions in the survey.

Need for more access to specialists was also named in what healthcare needs should be addressed in the next five years in Morrow County.

Examples of specialties listed as needed were obgyn, pediatrics, cardiology and cardiac services, dialysis, dental services and behavioral/mental health including substance abuse.

Confidence in quality of care was a concern as well as the issue of perception of quality care by the public. The need for more primary care physicians, preventive care and wellness was noted. Better communication and collaboration was listed.

Another area in the survey looked at where people got their healthcare needs met. It shows 36.9% got healthcare in a combination of in and out of county, 31.7% went out of county and 31% got healthcare primarily in Morrow County.

The scale of satisfaction with primary care options in Morrow County varied on the scale of 1-10 with 53.2% satisfied to extremely satisfied, 23.1% had low satisfaction and 22.9% were somewhat satisfied/dissatisfied with primary care options in the county.

Satisfaction with local healthcare services in Morrow County had 50.8% of respondents satisfied to extremely satisfied on a 1-10 scale, 26% were somewhat satisfied/dissatisfied and 23.1% had low satisfaction with county healthcare.

SWOT analysis

Delaware County OSU Extension Educator Kenzie Johnston led the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats (SWOT) analysis that followed the survey review.

Johnston began by asking the group, “What would you like healthcare in Morrow County to look like in five years?”

Loren Altizer and others in the group said they would like to see the healthcare services met, which they have identified. Keeping the Morrow County Hospital thriving was another goal several mentioned.

Carol Lessick said she feels it is “imperative” to figure out what we need to do to maintain the hospital to provide growth for the services that are needed.

Lois Stauffer added that having access to the care that is needed at the right time and right place is vital.

Eddie Lou Meimer said that as a growing county, she would like to see a full-service hospital that is independent of a tax levy.

LeAnne Gompf said, “For me there was never a question that we will be without a hospital in some form providing quality care.” She would like to have the county be more proactive in offering services and education in healthy living.

Donna Carver noted that the hospital is one of the largest employers in the county and that it is important to have an active hospital. The group needs to identify what it is possible to accomplish and look at what is feasible for the community to support.

Jennifer Williams said she wants the best for the county. She wants the county “not just to settle for what other people think is best for us.” Although Morrow County is a small, rural community she believes it is important “to go to the table” and ask for what is needed and best for our healthcare.

After naming more than a dozen strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats for Morrow County Healthcare needs, the group decided to review their findings and prioritize at the next meeting on Tuesday, April 20 at 6:30 p.m.

Link to Healthcare advisory group documents:[email protected]/Briefcase/Public/Data%20Information

By Alberta Stojkovic

For The Sentinel