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Community Health Needs Assessment of 2011-2012

Residents from across Love County gave their time in 2011-2012 performing a health needs asessment of the county.  

In short, What are the major health risks and conditions of citizens of all ages? What does the health sector of the community consist of in the way of providers and employment? What is the economic impact of the health sector? What hospital(s) are citizens using? What is their opinion of care at Mercy Health/Love County Hospital? Does the community have an adequate number of doctors for our population?
Helping research and answer these questions was the Oklahoma Office of Rural Health. Their consultants, led by Corie Kaiser, organized six luncheon meetings and presented data and reports. They also worked with the assessment group to put together a comprehensive health and social services directory of Love County agencies. 

Here is a summary of findings and results.
Meeting #1 in Nov. 2011 examined employment in the health sector of Love County.
We learned of 219 full and part-time jobs in health care –135 in the hospital, clinic, and ems. Together they pay $11.8 million dollars in salaries and wages.
These offices generate another 50 jobs in the area with payroll of an additional $2 million. See the Love County Economic Impact Report.   
Meeting # 2 in March 2012 resulted in a health and social services directory. It is a comprehensive phone book of services available here or in the nearest location, particularly Ardmore. The single-source telephone number for all of them is 211. See the Love County Health and Social Services Directory.  
Meeting #3 in June 2012 brought to us the results of an opinion survey from the community. We learned that 60% of hospitalizations take place right here and another 35% of the hospitalized are sent elsewhere by their doctor from here.
People who use the local hospital are satisfied with their care by 89% margin. They rated their physicians at 94%. See the Marietta Survey Results
An analysis of the need for physicians showed that our county needs 5.6 primary care physicians. We currently have in the county 5 primary care physicians plus 10 mid-level providers at the family nurse practitioner and physician assistant rank. See the Love County Physician Demand Report.  
Meeting #4 in August 2012 revealed health outcomes in Love County.
  • Love County had an overall health ranking of 74 out of Oklahoma's 77 counties.
  • Rates for smoking, binge drinking and motor vehicle crashes were above state averages, while rates for sexually-transmitted diseases, teen birth rate, and physical inactivity were at state averages.
  • 29% of adults were obese. 
  • Many Love Countians were limited in health insurance. There were 2,000 uninsured individuals under age 65 out of a total county population of 9,000. It is noted that Medicaid did not apply to single adults, so if an individual could not afford private health insurance or was deemed uninsurable or did not have insurance at work, then they fell into this large class of uninsured. By comparison, Medicare had 1,500 senior-aged enrollees, and 350 disabled enrollees. Medicaid, which applied to poor families with children, had 2,000 participants.
  • Love County ranked unfavorably in births to women under age 18, infant mortality, breast cancer, and coronary heart disease. See the Health Data Handouts.  
  • Life expectancy at 74.2 years was lower than average, and Love Countians tended to self-rate their health status as substantially lower than average, with more days per month of poor heatlh than most other counties. See the Love County Data & Information Report.
Meeting #5 & #6 in September-October 2012 were devoted to summarizing the most serious health issues in our area at this time. The group voted the top three priorities for new hospital services and initiatives:
  1. Mammography screening
  2. Diabetes wound care
  3. Education in pre-natal care


Post-Report in March 2013, prepared by the Office of Rural Health, documented the steps to implement the new hospital services and initiatives. See Asssessment and Implementation Strategy.