New report shows biggest health problems in Tri-County area

By WEEK Reporter

February 24, 2014 Updated Feb 25, 2014 at 11:29 AM CDT

PEORIA, Ill. -- A new report out Monday shows the biggest health threats facing the Tri-County area.

The first ever community health needs assessment shows diabetes, mental health and obesity as some of the biggest health issues.

It also shows 33-percent of local high school seniors use marijuana, compared with 21-percent statewide.

While the report shows the health needs, local doctors said it also identifies our community's social needs.

"A lot of healthcare is driven by these social determinates of health, poor health literacy, poor education," said Dr. Stephen Hippler, Internal Medicine, OSF Medical Group. "As we look forward to working on the health of our community we really have to address social needs in our community because that's really what is creating the demand for healthcare services."

Completing the assessment is a requirement under the Affordable Care Act.

Each local institution is responsible for implementing its own plan to address the problems.