October 2, 2012
PDT Staff Writer
Pike County has established a new health coalition, modeled after the Scioto County Health Coalition.
“We started this for the same reason they started a health coalition in Scioto County. There needed to be community involvement in addressing some of the negative health disparities that have become evident in our area,” said Gary Roberts, Director of the Pike County Community Action Organization. “It’s our goal to get all of our agencies involved in Pike County and develop strategies to address some of those problems.”
Roberts said the group recently held its first meeting and he considered the meeting successful.
“I was really impressed with the number of people and the participation that we had at the first meeting. Wally Burden, health commissioner, was one of our speakers. We had most of the major agencies represented,” Roberts said.
He said since the meeting others have come forward wanting to be apart.
When asked what are some of the issues that will be addressed by the health coalition, Roberts answered, “We can’t address everything but, we need to prioritize some of the things we feel are most important. Some of those priorities might include heart disease, diabetes and obesity. Those three items are very much interrelated and certainly are ones that will get a lot of attention.”
Roberts said at the November meeting he hopes the group would be able to zero-in on some of the items they could have an impact on.
“The ultimate goal of the health coalition would be to educate the community and do things that would have an impact,” he said. “For example, I had a neighbor who stepped on a carpet tack at his house and did not think much about it. He went and got medication, soaked his foot. At that point his foot started turning purple and still did not think much about it. By the time he went to the doctor, they had to amputate his foot. He had diabetes and did not know it.”
He said things like that could have been prevented, but for the coalition to be successful it will take the entire community. The next meeting of the Pike County Health Coalition is scheduled for November.
For more information about the Pike County Health Coalition, call Pike County Community Action at 740-289-2371.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 208, or firstname.lastname@example.org.