When asked to grade the overall health of Roane County, focus group participants’ responses ranged from a low of “D” to a high of “C” with the average grade being a “C-“. In determining the most significant issues to improve the health of Roane County we kept posing the question, “What improvements are needed to attain a B+?” Ultimately, the assessment group determined the following to be priority areas for Roane County:
- Prescription Drug Abuse
- Affordable Prescriptions
- Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome Incidence
What the residents told us:
The three most important factors for a healthy Roane County are:
- Good jobs and healthy economy (response 42%)
- Low crime / safe neighborhoods (response 41%)
- Good schools (response 37%)
The three most important health problems in Roane County are:
- Cancers (responses 36%)
- Obesity (responses 34%)
- Mental health (responses 33%)
The three most important “risky behaviors” in Roane County are:
- Drug abuse (response 82%)
- Alcohol abuse (response 50%)
- Tobacco use (response 39%)
Areas of Strengths and Opportunities
Quality of Life
- 67% of respondents are ‘satisfied’ to ‘very satisfied’ with the quality of life in Roane County.
- 65% of respondents are ‘satisfied’ to ‘very satisfied’ with Roane County as a place to grow old and as a place to raise a family.
- Lower prevalence of violent crime than the state average, but not lower than US benchmarks.
- Only 30% of respondents are satisfied with economic opportunities in Roane County.
- 54% of all restaurants in Roane County are fast food restaurants.
- High school graduation rate (78%) is lower than the state average (86%).
- Children in poverty (29%) is higher than the statewide rate and double the US benchmark (14%).
- Teen birth rate is lower than the statewide rate but still double the US benchmark.
- Adult smoking rates (16%) are among the lowest in the state (23%) and approaching the national benchmark (13%).
- Roane County is ranked 55th healthiest county in Tennessee out of 95 counties.
- Premature death in Roane County is significantly higher than the state average and nearly twice that of the US Benchmark.
- Preventable hospital stays are considerably below the statewide average.
- The percentage of adults who could not see a doctor in the previous 12 months due to cost was 14% in Roane County, compared to 16% for Tennessee.
- Roane County has a new state of the art hospital which opened in February 2013.
- The uninsured adult rate for Roane County is 17%, better than the state average of 21%.
- The number of physicians, dentists and mental health providers is quite low based on the need of Roane County’s population.
- Access to affordable dental care and mental health counseling for mild to moderate conditions is lacking.
- With the growing senior population there is a need for more providers who accept Medicare.
- Only 44% of those surveyed are happy with the healthcare resources (access, cost, quality and options).
- Most adults are receiving recommended screenings.
- Sexually transmitted infections are 52% fewer than the statewide rate.
- Prescription drug abuse is a significant issue in Roane County.
- Adult obesity is higher (35%) than the state average (32%).
- 35% of adults report no physical activity.