Health report card released

Austen Thibault, The Union Democrat /

Sonora Regional Medical Center released its 2013 Tuolumne County Community Health Assessment on Thursday afternoon, examining a range of community social and medical issues.

Among the report's key findings:

• The suicide rate was nearly twice the state average - 18 per 100,000 people versus 10 per 100,000 statewide, based on a 2011 count.

• Child abuse or neglect was more common in the county than the state as a whole - 17.2 cases per 1,000 people versus 9 per 1,000 statewide.

On the plus side, Tuolumne County students rated higher on tests of physical fitness and scored higher on English-language proficiency tests in third grade.

The report is perhaps the most comprehensive look at the county's health profile ever. It's more comprehensive than past assessments because of requirements for community hospitals included in the Affordable Care Act, said hospital spokesman Bruce Chan.

Sonora Regional worked with the Tuolumne County Public Health Department and more than 20 other local organizations to get its statistics, Chan said.

He said the report's findings will be used to set health care priorities in coming years.

For the full story see today's Union Democrat.

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