Archived Story

Officials addressing cancer, chronic disease and obesity

Published 9:13pm Thursday, November 7, 2013

Beaufort County health officials are working hard to address major health issues in the county, according to the county’s new health director.

James Madson, who took over at the Beaufort County Health Department on Sept. 23, explained the purpose of the State of the County’s Health report to the Beaufort County Board of Commissioners on Monday. Madson then introduced Kelli Russell, a preparedness coordinator and human-resources planner III at the department.

Russell said the report contains information taken from 1,100 surveys, “which is pretty impressive considering that it was a 10-page survey.”

“We identified that cancer, chronic disease and overweight/obesity were at the top three concerns in our area,’ she said. “From there, what we wanted to do was create a strategic plan. Our strategic plan with the health department runs from 2012 to 2015. … Our goals are five — prevention and management of chronic diseases, specifically diabetes, respiratory disease and heart disease. Second is prevention and management of obesity. Prevention and management of cancer is third. Fourth is control of communicable diseases. Lastly, five, to provide the most-effective and efficient services to our community.”

The SCOTCH report shows heart disease causing 24.9 percent of the deaths in the county during 2011, followed by all cancers at 23.9 percent of all county deaths in 2011, with chronic lower respiratory diseases causing 6.88 percent of all county deaths in 2011.

“Heart-disease related death rates for Beaufort County are slowly decreasing, so we are making some progress,” Russell told the commissioners.

“It’s projected that Beaufort County will have 354 confirmed cases of cancer this year,” she said.

In a related matter, the commissioners gave the OK for the health department to accept a $12,000 grant to conduct the next community health assessment.

For additional coverage of the commissioners’ meeting, see future editions of the Washington Daily News.


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