BY MELINDA WILLIAMS
Clipper Staff Writer
CLEARFIELD — From one health perspective, Davis County is a pretty good place to live.
But residents still fall short in a number of areas, from air quality to high numbers of prostate cancer to suicides, the study found.
Results of the Community Health Assessment were shared last week with members of the Davis County Board of Health.
The assessment, due out in a couple of weeks, will be used to gain accreditation, according to Davis County Health Director Lewis Garrett.
It will also be used to identify resources which may be used to improve the health of county residents, said Isa Perry, Davis County community health outreach planner, who gave board members a “snapshot” of the full report.
Counties in every state are ranked according to 30 health measures, Perry said.
In that ranking, Davis County is in the 90th percentile, meaning only 10 percent of counties nationwide are healthier, Perry said. In Utah, Davis comes in sixth among the state’s 29 counties, pointing to room for improvement.
“Those (counties) above us are typically rural, except Utah County (which came in third),” Perry said.
Not surprisingly, the report shows that few Davis County residents smoke, and that 34 percent of residents eat two or more servings of fruit daily, but that suicide is the seventh leading cause of death in the county, at 14.68 deaths per 100,000 people. The number falls short of the national Healthy People 2020 target of 10.2 suicides per 100,000.
Other areas in which the county is not meeting the Healthy People 2020 goals are prostate cancer deaths and deaths from poisoning, E. coli, seatbelt usage and pneumococcal vaccine.
When it comes to mental health, the county doesn’t have enough resources available, and often gaining access to those services can be difficult, the report found.
Statistics in it show that 8,269 adults 18 and older needed treatment from Davis Behavioral Health, but the current capacity is 2,698. Figures for those receiving substance abuse care from the agency are even bleaker. More than 8,400 adults needed treatment, but the capacity within the agency is only 842.
Perry told board members that by time the Medicare and Medicaid patients are taken care of there aren’t a lot of resources left to care for others.
While the number of Davis County residents eating fruit isn’t bad, residents still aren’t eating all that healthfully. Sixty-three percent of county residents eat at fast food restaurants, compared to 59 percent statewide.
There are also fewer grocery stores in the county than elsewhere in the state and nation.
When released, the assessment will be available on the health department’s website at daviscountyutah.gov/health.