The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Local and State News

February 17, 2014

Health coalition trying to improve community

ENID, Okla. — The top three health concerns in Garfield County are heart disease, obesity and mental illness, community health nurse Teresa Bailey said.

Bailey, a nurse educator in the community wellness department of Integris Bass Baptist Health Center, is a member of the Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships coalition.

MAPP initiates community programs to help improve health. An up-and-coming example is “Girls on the Run,” which will pair girls with running mentors.

Their work to improve the health of Oklahomans makes a difference.

“We’re 48th in the nation as far as overall health, and that sums it up,” Bailey told Enid Rotary Club members Monday.

Heart disease is the leading killer in Oklahoma, Bailey said.

Diabetes takes a large toll, as well.

“Our diabetes death rates in Garfield County are terrible,” Bailey said.

Furthermore, diabetes is striking both young and old.

“The number of children who have to be treated for diabetes in school has risen dramatically in the last five years,” Bailey told the group.

Mental illness emerged as a target area for MAPP after a community survey yielded surprising results, particularly among residents in the east side of the community.

“Eighty-five percent said they were taking medication for depression or had been diagnosed with depression and were not taking medication,” Bailey said of the people who responded to the survey.

MAPP is working to recruit a psychiatrist for Enid, Bailey said.

Rotarian Kayle Costello asked how long it’s been since the community has had a psychiatrist, and Bailey said about three years.

Integris Bass operates Meadowlake facility for youths and the Generations program for seniors needing psychiatric care.

St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center is looking to open a psychiatric wing for adults. The process won’t be quick, but the facility could be opened before the year is over, CEO Stan Tatum recently said.

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