State Department of Health releases rural health report

9 months 4 weeks 1 day ago Thursday, November 21 2019 Nov 21, 2019 Thursday, November 21, 2019 2:51:00 PM CST November 21, 2019 in News
By: Natalie Sopyla, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

JEFFERSON CITY- The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services released its latest report on rural health on Friday, detailing the leading health issues rural Missourians dealt with in the past year. The report also looks at socioeconomic factors affecting rural Missourians' health.

Dr. Randall Williams, director of the Department of Health, said rural health is a "huge priority" for both his department and Gov. Mike Parson, who hosted the first ever Governor's Rural Health Care Summit in 2018.

"We think one of the keys to making a diagnosis, to trying to find solutions, is having good data," Williams said.

The report features some of the main health issues affecting Missouri residents in rural areas, including the leading causes of death in rural counties. Along with those issues, the report details solutions and things people can do to prevent major diseases.

Williams said the goal is to not only treat disease, but to prevent it in the first place.

"If you start with that, and get people healthier in the same time that you're improving healthcare access, that's going to get us where we want to get to," Williams said.

One major aspect of healthcare the department is working on is maternal health. According to the report, between 2007 and 2017, pregnancy related deaths were 47% higher for rural communities than for urban ones.

Of the ten counties with the highest rate of infant deaths in the state, nine of them are rural.

Despite these statistics, Williams said Missourians overall are getting healthier. According to the United Health Foundation, Missouri ranked 38th in the nation in terms of healthy states, an increase from last year when Missouri ranked 40th.

Williams said he thinks that ranking will continue to rise.

"I think that's reflective of the whole state, but also very much rural [areas]," he said. "If we're getting better, it's probably because we're getting better in our rural areas."

One of the major things Williams said he wants to focus on is improving access to hospitals in rural areas, as well as getting more doctors to practice in rural areas.

Another important issue for the department is improving healthcare finance, especially with an election year coming up.

"We have to get our Medicaid program in the best shape it can be," Williams said. "We need to make it robust. We need to improve it, frankly."

Medicaid expansion is likely to be a topic in state races in 2020.

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA – While high school football has been happening so far this season in the wake of COVID-19, one part... More >>
5 hours ago Saturday, September 19 2020 Sep 19, 2020 Saturday, September 19, 2020 6:47:00 PM CDT September 19, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA – Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg left lifelong impressions on two Columbia students. The students, a high... More >>
5 hours ago Saturday, September 19 2020 Sep 19, 2020 Saturday, September 19, 2020 6:47:00 PM CDT September 19, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - Monday night will likely be a long one for the Columbia City Council as it gets another... More >>
6 hours ago Saturday, September 19 2020 Sep 19, 2020 Saturday, September 19, 2020 6:14:00 PM CDT September 19, 2020 in News
SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — Authorities say a 19-year-old was fatally shot near the Missouri State University campus in Springfield. ... More >>
9 hours ago Saturday, September 19 2020 Sep 19, 2020 Saturday, September 19, 2020 2:46:00 PM CDT September 19, 2020 in News
As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. Previous coverage: ... More >>
10 hours ago Saturday, September 19 2020 Sep 19, 2020 Saturday, September 19, 2020 2:14:00 PM CDT September 19, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA - No one was injured in an RV fire in southwest Columbia on Saturday. No injuries have been... More >>
11 hours ago Saturday, September 19 2020 Sep 19, 2020 Saturday, September 19, 2020 12:48:00 PM CDT September 19, 2020 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A fire at a Jefferson City home displaced two people early Saturday morning. According to a... More >>
14 hours ago Saturday, September 19 2020 Sep 19, 2020 Saturday, September 19, 2020 9:43:00 AM CDT September 19, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- President Donald Trump hailed Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg as a "brilliant mind" in a statement Friday... More >>
19 hours ago Saturday, September 19 2020 Sep 19, 2020 Saturday, September 19, 2020 5:00:00 AM CDT September 19, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg died on Friday , the court announced. She was 87. Ginsburg... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 18 2020 Sep 18, 2020 Friday, September 18, 2020 6:43:00 PM CDT September 18, 2020 in News
(CNN) -- For a father and son, a hug before the first game of football season is a special moment.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 18 2020 Sep 18, 2020 Friday, September 18, 2020 6:23:00 PM CDT September 18, 2020 in News
Week four of Friday Night Fever has arrived. Before you head out to your team's game or tune in to... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 18 2020 Sep 18, 2020 Friday, September 18, 2020 5:56:00 PM CDT September 18, 2020 in Friday Night Fever
Games for high school football games will become available below. Final scores are in bold and home teams are on... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 18 2020 Sep 18, 2020 Friday, September 18, 2020 5:44:00 PM CDT September 18, 2020 in Friday Night Fever
Welcome to Week 4 of Friday Night Fever! Our game of the week features the Marshall Owls taking on the... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 18 2020 Sep 18, 2020 Friday, September 18, 2020 5:43:00 PM CDT September 18, 2020 in Friday Night Fever
STOVER - COVID-19 is affecting young and old alike in Morgan County. According to the Morgan County Health Center... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 18 2020 Sep 18, 2020 Friday, September 18, 2020 5:03:00 PM CDT September 18, 2020 in News
COLUMBIA — Battle High School canceled its game set for Friday against the Hickman High School Kewpies. Battle announced... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 18 2020 Sep 18, 2020 Friday, September 18, 2020 3:14:00 PM CDT September 18, 2020 in Sports
NEAR CRANE, Mo. (KY3) - The Missouri Water Patrol is investigating a deadly crash killing a father and son from... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 18 2020 Sep 18, 2020 Friday, September 18, 2020 2:00:00 PM CDT September 18, 2020 in News
MISSOURI- As COVID-19 continues to spread, KOMU 8 will continue to update you about impacts in the community. The... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 18 2020 Sep 18, 2020 Friday, September 18, 2020 2:00:00 PM CDT September 18, 2020 in News
ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. - As parents and student-athletes continue to protest the ban on some youth sports games... More >>
1 day ago Friday, September 18 2020 Sep 18, 2020 Friday, September 18, 2020 1:27:00 PM CDT September 18, 2020 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 54°
1am 54°
2am 53°
3am 51°
4am 50°