Black Hawk County Public Health is looking for survey participants | New Policies

MARIA KUIPER

WATERLOO — The Black Hawk County Public Health Department is seeking participants to complete a survey about their priorities for improving community health.

The department has published fact sheets online at bhcpublichealth.org on community health improvement priorities such as mental health and trauma, healthy eating, health equity and other health issues. emerging. The health department encourages community members to review the data and then complete the online survey.

2020 U.S. Census Bureau data indicates the median household income in Black Hawk County is $56,100. White residents earn $58,800 and Hispanic residents $53,100. Black residents earn $29,500, just over half of what white residents earn. This rate is also the same for 2019.

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From 2015 to 2019, Black Hawk County’s average poverty rate was 15.8 percent, according to the news release. Waterloo’s 50703 postcode had a median household income that was about two-thirds of the county’s median household income. That same zip code had the highest percentage of households paying 30% or more of their income for rent, at 58.4%. The percentage for Black Hawk County was 47%.

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When it comes to education, schools in Waterloo, Cedar Falls, and Hudson saw declining graduation rates in 2021. The Iowa average also fell. Dunkerton and Union schools saw an increase.

In 2020, schools in Waterloo had an average graduation rate of 85.8%, while all other school districts in Black Hawk County were above 90%.

Black Hawk County is also among a group of counties with the most adverse childhood experiences. Such experiences can increase the risk of injury, sexually transmitted infections, maternal and child health problems, sex trafficking, and chronic disease. Other counties in the group include Clayton, Dubuque, Delaware, Buchanan, Benton, Linn, Jones, Jackson, Clinton, Cedar, Johnson, Iowa and Scott.

Respondents to the Black Hawk County Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System said the average number of days their mental health was “not good” in the past month fell from 2.4 days in 2016 to 4.4 days in 2020. There was a 0.5% increase in hospitalizations. with mostly mental health diagnoses from 2016 to 2020, compared to 2013 to 2017. From 2016 to 2020, more ZIP Code 50703 residents were diagnosed with a substance use disorder than expected.

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Obesity rates have increased in Black Hawk County, as well as across the country. Iowa ranked seventh in the United States for prevalence of self-reported obesity in 2020, with 36.5% of people reporting being obese.

The county’s overall obesity rate was higher at 38.1%. The rate for black residents was even higher, at 52.6%. The overall rate for white residents was 37.5%.

Black Hawk residents are tied with the state average for eating more than one fruit or vegetable per day, though the gap is widening. Food insecurity rates among children are higher in Black Hawk County than in the state of Iowa.

Food insecurity is defined as reduced access to healthy food. The number of food insecure children in the county is 15.4%, compared to 13.1% in the state of Iowa. The average price of a meal in Black Hawk County was $2.95 in 2019, compared to an average of $2.88 in Iowa.

Emerging health issues described by the Black Hawk County Health Department include the rising rate of sexually transmitted infections, particularly gonorrhea. The rate in Black Hawk County nearly doubled from 2017 to 2020. Chlamydia and syphilis are also much more prevalent in Black Hawk County than the rest of the state.

Other rising trends include asthma and melanoma. In addition, the report indicates that private wells testing positive for nitrate increased from 9.8% to 20.3% from 2019 to 2020. The report also indicates that child poverty and health care costs have increased .

The survey results will be used by the Community Health Improvement Steering Committee to plan for the future. In 2020, the Black Hawk County Board of Health adopted its current priorities for mental health and trauma, healthy eating, and equity.

Community members can call Black Hawk County Public Health at (319) 291-2413 to get hard copies of the survey.

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