Community health forum planned

Published 11:02 pm Wednesday, January 13, 2016



The public is invited to participate in a presentation and discussion of the health status of Polk County residents and join forces to combat those issues that affect the physical, mental and emotional health of our community.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox


The bi-annual Community Health Forum, sponsored by several local organizations, extracts local health data and seeks to combine our current resources to find creative solutions that will affect positive changes in the health and wellbeing of Polk County.


Scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 19, the Community Health Forum will be held from

5:30 -7:30 p.m. at Isothermal Community College, Polk Campus. Foothills Health Network will sponsor a light, healthy meal, so those attending should call 828-894-0972 or email with questions or reservations.


St. Luke’s Hospital, Rutherford-Polk-McDowell Health District and Polk Fit, Fresh and Friendly Health Coalition will host the forum to discuss a recent health survey as well as to get input from the community regarding the health of Polk County. The purpose of the forum is to provide an update on the community health assessment and results of local opinion surveys.


“We want to share the data but also talk to the community. The input we can get from the community will assist us on the steps we can take to improve our health status,” said Ken Shull, CEO of St. Luke’s Hospital. Regional data related to Polk County will be presented at the community forum and results of a localized survey will be included in the presentation.


Jimmy Hines, Health Director for the RPM District Health Department commented, “We know that many factors influence health in our community. To best address pressing and complex health needs in Polk County, we need to build on our strengths and continue working together in the same direction. We are fortunate that PF3 and St. Luke’s Hospital have provided good leadership working side by side with the public health efforts in reducing the burden of disease. Many efforts are already underway, and we continue to look at the results we are getting, what improvements are needed and what gaps remain.”


Shull added, “By collaborating with other agencies in the community, we believe we can affect positive changes through health awareness, education, action and advocacy. Collaboration with other local agencies to increase awareness and improve decisions will positively affect the health and wellness of Polk County residents through shared resources.”


-Submitted by Marjorie Vestal