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COLLEGE STATION

Brazos Valley Health Summit Results

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The center for Community Health Development at the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health released their findings today of a health assessment for the Brazos Valley; Brazos, Burleson, Grimes, Leon, Madison, Robertson, Washington, as well as Walker and Montgomery County.

The findings said what health needs counties in the Brazos valley have, that aren't being met.

The assessment results  tell what the areas need.

The eight key findings were rapid population growth, poor economy, concerning obesity rate, mental health, risky youth behavior, insufficient care for the elderly, rural low income and minority disparities and the biggest- transportation.

Monica Wendel, Director of the Center for Community Health Development said, "Transportation has always come up as a top issue. If you went and did an assessment in any community across the nation, transportation would come up as an issue. Wether it is urban or rural, because that's such an important thing for people to be able to get to work, to be able to get to activities, to be able to get to services and the resources that they need."

Leon County has the longest average distance to receive medical care.

"Transportation for us is a big issue," said Leon County Judge Byron Ryder. "Especially for the people who can't afford a car, or the elderly or whatever. They can't afford it because they are on medicare or medicaid or social security or whatever it might be."

But it was because of these finding that they were able to start a volunteer service to help meet the needs of their community.

"People are now getting served that weren't served. They are now getting to go to the doctor, that they couldn't go to before. They're getting treatment they never got before because they are able to go to the doctor. Over all its helped a lot," said Ryder.

The summit had a wall of posters dedicated to different projects, like the one in Leon County, that have met the needs based on the results from the past study. This is the fourth summit in the past 11 years.