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Department of Health News

Local Partnerships Release Community Health Assessments

Buncombe County Department of Health, the Madison County Health Department, and Mission Hospital have been Photo of doctor pointing at healthy tips.working together to complete a comprehensive Community Health Assessment for 2012.

This process is part of a regional partnership, WNC Healthy Impact. WNC Healthy Impact is an innovative regional partnership between hospitals and health departments designed to improve community health in sixteen western North Carolina counties.  

For the first time, a large set of comparable data is available for all sixteen counties that participated, including comparisons to the region as a whole. This allows Mission Hospital to view the same types of data on both Buncombe and Madison counties, which are the two counties defined in Mission Hospital’s service area. This is a great benefit for all three agencies, which can use the data to make better-informed decisions about how to best impact the health of local communities. 

Some example data findings for Buncombe and Madison:

  • The top three leading causes of death in Buncombe and Madison counties are heart disease, cancer, and chronic lower respiratory disease.
  • Nearly 2 out of 3 adults in Buncombe and Madison counties are overweight, and over 1 in 4 are obese.
  • Roughly 1 out of 5 Buncombe and Madison adults currently smoke. However, there is strong public support for tobacco-free environments.
  • The uninsured population in the region for 2009-2010 was 20.8% in Buncombe County, 23.8 % in Madison County, compared to 22% in the WNC region and 24% in North Carolina.
  • Forty-six percent (46%) of survey participants in Buncombe County and 43.8% in Madison County reported that they regularly care or provide assistance to a friend or family member who has a health problem or disability, compared to 42% in the WNC region.

These data points highlight only a few of those gathered from this regional data collection effort. This data is now being considered by local partners in Buncombe and Madison counties to enable prioritization and planning processes to move forward. 

Buncombe County 2012 Community Health Assessment Priority Areas:

  • Women’s Preconception Health
  • Healthy Living and Healthy Weight
  • Early Child Development and Children's Health
  • Access to Primary and Mental Health Care

Madison County 2012 Community Health Assessment Priority Areas:

  • Chronic Disease Preventive Care and Treatment
  • Child Health
  • Access to Mental Health Care
    * Poverty and Access to Care are woven into all areas

In addition, WNC Healthy Impact will consider the identified local priorities and regional data in selecting two regional issues that could be collectively addressed in the years ahead. 

Mission Hospital along with the Buncombe and Madison communities will continue to collaborate on how to strategically address and invest in priority health needs over the next few years.  

These local community health assessments, which include details about local assets, priorities, and next steps, will be available soon on the Buncombe County and Madison County Department of Health websites:

The regional WNC Community Health Assessment Report and other details about the regional process and survey are available on the WNC Healthy Impact website

For more information on the community health assessment and/or to get involved in the community health improvement process in your county, please contact your local health department.