KENNEWICK, Wash. — The Benton Franklin Health District, in partnership with multiple community partners like local healthcare system Kadlec, published the Community Health Needs Assessment for 2022. Otherwise known as the CHNA, it gives readers a glance at a survey conducted throughout both counties from over 600 respondents, multiple interviews with partners and informational forums.
BFHD also created the ‘At A Glance’ for the CHNA which summarizes some of the biggest points of the lengthy survey.
First, the survey addresses homelessness and housing. According to the Homeless Management Information Systems for the Tri-Cities and greater area, 4,000 people in in their system. Surveyors also found people are spending more time homeless, 82 to be exact.
The survey also found a low supply of affordable housing, low vacancy rates for rentals and an increasing cost of rent.
Even worse, renters can’t keep up with the cost because income is only growing at half the rate that rent costs are.
Next, the survey addressed health care access. They found 90 percent of Benton County is covered, in Franklin County only 70 percent are covered.
When it comes to a primary care provider, in Benton County, there’s enough providers for a one to 1,430 patients ratio.
In Franklin county, that statistic drastically increases to one provider to 4,720 potential patients.
Then, a topic that has become to the forefront of many conversations over the past couple of years: childcare.
The average monthly cost only differed by five dollars between the two counties: $894 in Benton County and $899 in Franklin County.
Yet, the costs are still lower than Washington’s average at $1,044.
Participants noted how difficult it is to find safe and affordable child care in this region, and having this is essential for a strong workforce.
The survey does mention opioid overdose deaths, but the data compared 2019 to 2020.
But on the topic of substance abuse, the rates of binge drinking have decreased.
When it comes to mental health, both counties could use more resources and providers. However, most respondents said they felt they can easily access the care they need easily. The rate of suicide has been on the rise since 2016, predominantly in the 65 and older population.
In early 2023, BFHD and its partners will public the CHIP or Community Health Improvement Plan to set evidence based goals and objectives to close these disparities.
You can read the entire CHNA here.
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