KCUR News
10:35 am
Tue June 22, 2010

Wyandotte County Battles Low Health Status

Kansas City, KS – A recent study ranked Wyandotte County as the least healthy county in the state. Now, local officials and residents are trying to figure out what to do about it.

About fifty people convened at Donnelly College this afternoon to develop a plan to improve the health of the region.

Joe Connor is head of the Unified Government of Wyandotte County Health Department and helped organize the meeting.

"You heard a lot today about the built environment - streets, sidewalks, bike lanes. You heard a lot about schools," says Connor. "And you heard a lot about just in general, our community standards. So we need to really look at increasing those at the policy level...and we need to really start expecting more from our community."

Last year, research out of the Kansas Health Institute found that one in five Wyandotte county residents aren't getting needed health care, nearly two out of three people are overweight or obese, and almost one in three kids are living in poverty.

In response to the findings, the county recently created a new task force. Connor says input from today's forum, as well as two previous ones, will help the group come up with a strategic plan for how to directly take on these and other health issues.

Funding for health care coverage on KCUR has been provided by the Health Care Foundation of Greater Kansas City.

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