Sonora, CA — A comprehensive Tuolumne County Health report was released today. The 2013 Tuolumne County Community Health Assessment (TCCHA) is a collaboration of Tuolumne County government, private agency, business and community representatives. The Steering Committee consisted of local business owners, non-profit executive directors, seniors, county and state social service directors, health care providers, community members and law enforcement.
The 73 page report took ten months to compile the statistics and complete. Sonora Regional Medical Center (SRMC) helped with the report and will also use the information as part of its required stakeholder community assessment.
Tuolumne County Public Health Officer Dr. Todd Stolp highlights the reports significance saying, “We have higher rates of alcoholism, smoking and certain types of substance abuse. If we put all that together, it can account for a lot of issues related to things like suicide, overdose death rates.” He adds, “If we look at how far reaching the impact of substance use disorder is in Tuolumne County and how elevated that risk factor is to our population, the good news is it gives us an opportunity to look at how we can do something about it.”
Some of the findings from the assessment:
The rate of those receiving prenatal care declined significantly from 92.1% in 2006 to 76% in 2008 and then rose again to 84% in 2010. The decline coincided with the closure and transfer of the Tuolumne General Hospital Prenatal Clinic in 2007 which served primarily Medi-Cal patients, noting that over 40% of prenatal services in Tuolumne County are funded by safety net programs.
The Teen Pregnancy rate in Tuolumne County dropped after 2007 which coincided with a five year Title X grant that specifically addressed access to family planning for youth. The grant will not be renewed after 2013. The teen pregnancy rate is higher than the state average among White non-Hispanic females aged 15 to 19. In 2010 in Tuolumne County the rate was 15.5 births per 1000, compared to an average of 10.9 per 1000 in California.
The rate of breastfeeding for Tuolumne County mothers was reported as higher than for the state overall, and it meets the National Public Health goal.
Tuolumne County kindergarten immunization rate is at about 75%, significantly lower than the state’s rate of about 90%. Completed immunization rates for local public schools are 79%, while completed vaccination rates for private schools reporting their rates stand at only 29%.
Tuolumne County residents have one of the highest rates of tobacco use in the state, with 26% of residents over 18 reporting smoking cigarettes. A professional 2012 telephone survey of 420 Tuolumne County homes was conducted and nearly 49% of households including at least one tobacco consumer using either smokeless tobacco, cigarettes, cigars and/or pipes.
Suicide rates in Tuolumne County are about twice as high as statewide rates at about 20 per 100,000 per year, but similar to other rural counties with similar demographics.
Tuolumne County poverty rates for the general population (13.3%) and for families with children (19.1%) are higher than for other foothill counties, but senior poverty rates are slightly lower (5.5%).
To download the 2013 Tuolumne County Community Health Assessment click here.