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Health and Medicine


MetroHealth looking for health problems and solutions in county regions
Health advocates working in four Cuyahoga areas to help improve the county's low state health ranking
by WKSU's KEVIN NIEDERMIER


Reporter
Kevin Niedermier
 
Courtesy of MetroHealth
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In The Region:

Cuyahoga County’s public hospital system is trying to pinpoint the biggest health problems in various neighborhoods, and to develop customized solutions. MetroHealth officials say the project is a response to the county’s low statewide health ranking.

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Among Ohio’s 88 counties, the state lists Cuyahoga 65th for health issues. So MetroHealth has hired four health advocates who are surveying community leaders, elected officials and youth groups in four separate county regions. The goal is finding one major problem in each region and to work with neighborhood resources to develop a program to correct it.

Community outreach specialist Andrea Martemus-Peters is working on Cleveland’s east side and in three nearby suburbs. So far, she’s finding issues beyond obesity and chronic diseases.

“Primarily the 'food desert.' A lot of people are starting to feel like they want to eat healthier, and so they want to plant their own garden. You have probably noticed a lot of community gardens coming up. And people want their children to be safe going to and from school and to their community recreation centers. So, of course gun violence is quite prevalent in the neighborhoods this summer.”  

After a specific problem is identified, the goal is to devise a program by the end of the year to combat it. Cuyahoga is Ohio’s most populous county with more than 1.2 million residents.

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