Health disparities study helps Bear River Health Department determine policy

LOGAN – Every year the Utah Department of Health issues a Health Disparities Study that identifies health differences in Utah’s legislative districts and how they affect Utahns.

Lloyd Berentzen, Bear River Health Department’s Health Director, said the first purpose of the study is to identify differences, from district to district.

“And see how that affects individuals’ health,” Berentzen explains. “We try to measure that, through some measurement capabilities, to see what differences that makes for people, where they live, how they live. It’s actually a really good report that gives us guidance as to where we can target some things.”

Berentzen says this study is one of the tools the health department uses to determine policy along with the annual county health rankings. And there is more.

”The other thing we do is what we call Community Health Assessments,” Berentzen adds. “We’ll bring in specific groups and we’ll ask them their perception as to what the most important public health issues are.

“They may be saying mental health or substance abuse, or opioid use. Or we may be saying e-cigs is the biggest problem we’re having right now.”

Berentzen says the health department considers a combination of these indicators to plan goals and to set the department’s direction each year.

Links to the health disparities that exist within the various legislative districts are below:

 

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