Community health forum planned for Jan. 17

Published 8:14 pm Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Libby Carter, RN, with St. Luke’s Hospital checks blood pressures during a recent community event. High blood pressure is a leading health concern in Polk County where St. Luke’s Hospital is sponsoring a Community Health Forum this Thursday, Jan. 17, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. at ICC-Polk. (photo submitted)

How healthy are the residents of Polk County?

What programs are needed to improve the health and wellness of Polk County for individuals and families, as well as for business and industry? What are the county’s barriers; the strengths and weaknesses?

Kick off the New Year by participating in a community-wide discussion of health priorities and issues that will make a healthier Polk County for individuals, families, businesses and industries.

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The public is invited to attend a Community Health Forum set for Thursday, Jan. 17, at Isothermal Community College-Polk Campus from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Call St. Luke’s Hospital at 828-894-2408. A light meal will be served.

Co-sponsored by St. Luke’s Hospital and Rutherford-Polk-McDowell Heath District, the forum will begin with a presentation of health data and local opinion surveys collected and compiled to assess the current health of Polk County. Breakout sessions will help St. Luke’s Hospital and the health district plan and create programs to address future needs for the health, well-being and economy of Polk County.

Community input is a necessary and integral aspect of federally required community health assessments, according to Ken Shull, chief executive officer for St. Luke’s Hospital.