Community Report Card on region’s health to be released

DANBURY, CONN. — Danbury Hospital, the Danbury Health Department, United Way of Western Connecticut and Western Connecticut State University are scheduled to release a Community Report Card on the health of residents in the region at a special presentation at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, Jan. 29.


Connecticut Commissioner of Health Dr. Robert Galvin will be the keynote speaker at the event, which will be held in the ballroom of the WCSU Westside Campus Center, Lake Avenue Extension, Danbury.


The report card, sponsored by a variety of businesses and health care and human services providers, is designed to help those who wish to spur further improvement in the health of residents.


The report covers the towns of Bethel, Bridgewater, Brookfield, Danbury, New Fairfield, New Milford, Newtown, Redding, Ridgefield and Sherman.


The report card includes indicator measurements in these areas:


• Our community
• Economic stability
• Education
• Health status of residents
• Risk factors
• Diseases


While research conducted to produce the report card found that the region’s residents are generally healthier than state and national averages, the data suggests areas of potential improvement and ways to achieve such improvement.


Dr. Linda K. Rinker, WCSU provost and academic vice president, who was a co-chair of the Report Card steering committee, said the new information will help the community focus on important health and wellness issues.


“This Report Card supplies data which, for the first time in many years, looks at a large number of indicators that will give us a more complete look at where we stand as a community,” Rinker said.


Andrea Rynn, director of public and government relations at Danbury Hospital, and also a co-chair of the committee, said the report will provide guidance to area providers, public health officials, cities, towns and other organizations.


“The report’s recommendations are designed to spur discussion and community action,” Rynn said. “It will give us a roadmap to move into the future.”


Scott LeRoy, Danbury’s director of health, said the collaborative work on the report card will make future work easier.


“The health of our citizens goes well beyond the boundaries of each municipality and being a partner in this study allows us all to see our communities and ourselves more clearly”, LeRoy said.


Michael Johnston, chief executive officer of United Way of Western Connecticut, said the report card will help organizations and communities measure outcomes with more precision.
“What’s key about the report card is that we now have a tool that will be invaluable in helping us identify new trends and issues that require attention as well as a benchmark for measuring our success tackling our community’s challenges,” Johnston said.


Copies of the report card will be available at the Jan. 29 meeting.

 

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