United Way status report shows major area of concern in Potter and Randall counties

United Way status report shows major area of concern in Potter and Randall counties
New status report shows major area of concern in Potter and Randall counties (Source: KFDA)

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - United Way of Amarillo & Canyon has released their 2018 Community Status Report, which showed Potter and Randall counties having major areas of struggle in health.

The report also highlighted the successes and challenges for Potter and Randall counties focusing on areas of income, education, health and basic needs.

“Every year we bring out this report to highlight the biggest issues in our community and let people know some basic demographic data,” said Executive Director of United Way of Amarillo & Canyon Katie Noffsker. “We really focus on what it is we’re struggling with.”

One of the topics highlighted both counties having issues with chronic illnesses that lead to death.

Among the list were other continuing issues like sexually transmitted infections and suicide rates.

“The health issues are a huge concern,” said Senior Director of Community Impact for United Way of Amarillo & Canyon Belinda Palacios. “We have higher [rates] of heart disease, diabetes and cancer, across the board. You look at our suicide rates and they’re alarming. It’s a considerable problem that’s going on right now. It is significantly higher than the national and state average and not just a little higher, significantly higher. Those issues need to be addressed because it’s almost at epidemic proportions.”

The report shows death from heart disease increased in Potter County by 10.7 percent and Randall County increased by 23.5 percent.

Death from cancer increased in both counties, which was higher than the state rate along with suicide death rates.

In order to better serve the community and lower these rates, Noffsker said the report can be used as a tool for all citizens and agencies.

“You can’t make a change unless you understand where you are," said Noffsker. "The issues that local non-profits have been working on for years are still significant and important. Improvements are being made but there’s still a long way to go. It’s critical that we work together, and live united and solve these problems.”

You can find the full 2018 United Way Community Status Report, here.

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