Health surveys indicate growth opportunities

Health surveys indicate growth opportunities Community health surveys recently conducted among residents of Clay County and northeast Nebraska indicate a great opportunity for growth in the use of Vermillion's health care services, according to John Paulson, CEO of Sioux Valley Vermillion Medical Center.

In particular, there is significant interest in physician and hospital services available in Vermillion and continued expansion of local health screening and community education and wellness programs.

The surveys were distributed through local newspapers, direct mail and personally with nearly 200 residents participating. The results indicate that there are more patients who will or could be seeking care locally.

In the northeast Nebraska Community Health Care Survey, a significant portion of those surveyed � 57.5 percent � say they plan to use or possibly use health care services in Vermillion when the Newcastle/Vermillion Bridge opens in the fall of 2001.

The types of health services northeast Nebraska survey respondents anticipated using are oriented around acute care including hospital (28.1 percent), emergency room (35.9 percent), and physician services. Great interest was also shown in the health screening and community education/wellness services similar to those already being brought to northeast Nebraska by the Sioux Valley Vermillion Medical Center and USD Community Health Education and Wellness Program.

Thirty-four percent of respondents indicated that nearby clinics open early morning, evenings and Saturday and the local availability of 24-hour emergency care and hospital services would be of assistance to them.

Clay County survey results indicate that over 50 percent of the respondents anticipate using hospital, outpatient, or emergency services in Vermillion. Additional patients may use health care locally in the future as more new health services are developed.

Most of the respondents indicated they have a local physician and also have an interest in using the specialty physician services provided in Vermillion. Ninety-four percent of the survey respondents indicated that they or their family have a physician in Vermillion.

Great interest was also expressed in the local provision of health screenings, wellness programs, health education, fitness and nutrition services for Clay County residents. This is consistent with the continued support shown for the expansion of these programs for all county and area residents.

Discussions involving Vermillion physicians and local hospital administration about the survey results are helping develop plans for working together to meet the health care needs of the residents of Clay County and northeast Nebraska communities.

"The Clay County and northeast Nebraska Community Health Survey results indicate that health care can definitely be a part of 'Growing Vermillion,'" said Paulson. "It is particularly noteworthy that the continued growth and the use of health care locally is allowing the medical staff and hospital together to expand and add services including those represented by the new CT and ultrasound and scanning systems, surgical C-Arm and specialties such as urology, ENT, and orthopedics and the Community Health Education and Wellness Program.

"Continued collaboration and cooperation involving all of the Vermillion physicians is a great asset for Vermillion becoming a true medical center for the surrounding area," he added.

"The patients of the local Vermillion medical staff are fortunate to be served so comprehensively. They can help further support local health care developments by their continued use of the growing number of health care services available to them in Vermillion."

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