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Pete’s Perspective: A Roadmap for Action

Pete’s Perspective: A Roadmap for Action

An extensive assessment of the most critical health needs in Monterey County shows a telling picture of where our region stands. The Community Health Needs Assessment provides a roadmap for Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System and the five other organizations that worked together to identify priorities for action.

Monterey County’s four hospitals, the County of Monterey Health Department, and United Way Monterey County partnered in the Monterey County Health Needs Collaborative on the survey after finding mutual benefit in collaborating during the pandemic.

The assessment findings were recently released and planning is underway to take action in response. Months of data collection are contained in the reports, including a broad range of input from community members and experts in public health, clinical care and other areas. The results will guide our work in implementing new strategies and better ways to meet the challenges highlighted by the survey.

Topping the list of Monterey County health concerns is diabetes, followed by mental health and access to healthcare services.

Diabetes has long been an issue of particular concern in Monterey County. Our nationally-recognized Monterey County Diabetes Collaborative, which we bring to the County in partnership with Montage Health, is making a measurable impact. Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System is committed to continue funding for this initiative.

We live in an area where fresh produce is abundant yet out of reach for many families. Nearly one-third of those surveyed find it very or somewhat difficult to buy affordable fresh produce. The assessment found the rate of diabetes in the Salinas area exceeds that of the state and the nation. Our work together as a community will help change that.

As we observe American Diabetes Month this November, we invite you to take action – for yourself or on behalf of someone you love. The Monterey County Diabetes Collaborative offers free, bilingual resources including a four-month program that brings new hope with lasting results. Visit dontfeedthediabetes.com to learn more.

You can read find additional details of the Community Health Needs Assessment here on our website. Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System looks forward to its ongoing work with the Monterey County Health Needs Collaborative. Partnerships like these leverage our individual strengths to improve health opportunities for everyone in our richly diverse community.

Be safe and be well.

– Pete

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