WXXI AM News

Charting New Directions For Improving Community Health

Jul 14, 2015

A greater emphasis on prevention and a more connected system. Those are two of the main recommendations about health care in a report just released by the Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency.

Those recommendations are contained in a report that was put together by the Regional Commission on Community Health Improvement, which has been reviewing health data in the local nine-county region for the past 18 months.

Trilby de Jung is CEO for the health systems agency. She says one of the issues identified in this study is that mental health should be an integral part of the region's health care system, and not handled through a separate system as it is now.

"Even between a substance abuse provider and a mental health provider, there's that communication problem and then when you try to get that kind of information about behavioral health care over into a primary care setting, a lot of barriers to sharing information."

de Jung says two of the main health concerns identified in the report are obesity and tobacco addiction.

"The rates of people who are overweight or obese are very high in our region, and that was the number one priority in a lot of counties and tobacco cessation programs, these are things that the counties emphasized over and over again."

de Jung says one hope is that this new study will help the Finger Lakes area leverage additional funding to improve the health care system.