Health Care in San Joaquin Valley Below U.S. Goals, Study Finds
The San Joaquin Valley has met only three of the 22 public health goals that the U.S. surgeon general set in 2000, aiming for the country to meet the benchmarks by 2010, according to a study released on Tuesday, the Fresno Bee reports.
The study, called "Healthy People 2010," found that San Joaquin Valley residents had met the goals in adult physical activity, adolescent tobacco use and adolescent immunizations. The study compared health data from 2001-2003 with data from 2004-2006 for residents in Fresno, Kern, Kings, Madera, Merced, San Joaquin, Stanislaus and Tulare counties.
The study found increases in adults who binge drink and sexually active adolescents. In addition, there has been no progress in treating adult depression or in vaccinating seniors for the flu, according to the study.
Karen Pfister of San Joaquin County Public Health Services and other area health care professionals attributed the situation in part to the region's rural poor population lacking access to physicians and other medical care because of inadequate transportation, lack of insurance and language problems (Hoagland, Fresno Bee, 5/27).