‘Pike’s Ride’ puts community in driver’s seat, moving focus of area healthcare

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Published: Jan. 23, 2023 at 7:34 PM EST
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PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - The Pike County Health Department is working with the community to find the area’s most pressing healthcare concerns.

“To formulate a community health improvement plan, this process occurs every five years,” said Public Health Director Tammy Riley.

The initiative included two community meetings and a health assessment survey, working to decide which issues will be the focus of the next five years. The second luncheon took place Monday.

According to Riley, the community involvement through the process is not only encouraging but important. So, bringing in people from outside of the healthcare world- educators, local leaders, etc.- was one of the biggest reasons for “Pike’s Ride.”

“It’s amazing to look in the room and see, you know, local government, education, healthcare,” said Riley. “Just a wide variety of organizations and thought leaders, having some say in where the focus will be for the next five years.”

The topics range from cancer to diabetes, including discussions about sex education and the impacts of income on healthcare access, under the leadership of Dr. Angela Carman.

”It might be obesity, it might be substance use disorder, but at least you’ll have a plan,” Riley said.

Riley said the work helps to shine a light on the things people in the area are most concerned about, allowing the department to create programs or extend information to keep prevention on the forefront.

“So, moving forward, you’re not just running around chasing every public health concern, but really focus in on those top priorities,” said Riley. “To see if you can move the dial, so to speak, and see some improvement.”