It's an assessment that's required by the IRS, and now St. Francis Hospital is in the planning stages of putting an emphasis on battling obesity.
With a nationwide obesity epidemic that's effecting all ages and crippling our health, the northwest Missouri hospital is ready to fight this battle head on.
"If you do look at the data, Nodaway County has both a higher overweight population, and obese population than the state and national averages," said Rita Miller, St. Francis Hospital Community Relations Director.
According to the CDC, more than one third of adults in the united states are obese, and nearly 17-percent of children ages 2 to 19.
And now, St. Francis Hospital in Maryville has compiled data about the health needs in Nodaway County.
"The things that drive disease in our community such as heart failure, such as COPD, such as diabetes, are driven by obesity. So, if you can get at the root of the problem, we can get at a lot of these diseases that we have in our community," said Ty Griffith, St. Francis Hospital Vice President of Operations and Planning.
Obesity rates of children and adolescents have almost tripled in the last thirty years, and St. Francis is working out the plans to conduct programs and initiatives for all ages.
"Going to be partnering with our schools to see what we can do about helping kids and activities, so that we can get in early on childhood obesity, because it's really learned from an early age," said Griffith.
"People have become more complacent in their outdoor activities, it's easier to go watch or be entertained in front of a TV or a computer, than what we used to have to do," said Miller.
The hospital is piloting a healthy lifestyle program with its employees, and once the kinks are worked out, they plan to implement it with other large employers throughout the county.
St. Francis Hospital spent a year collecting data from surveys and focus groups to identify the major health needs in Nodaway County.