Provide equitable healthcare opportunities throughout Lexington to allow for the wide range of medical needs of all populations.
The healthcare industry is one of Lexington’s primary economic drivers, because it is a hub for medical services of all levels – from clinics and doctor’s offices to hospitals and the regional trauma center at Chandler Medical Center. Providing healthcare to all citizens should be an easy task to accomplish as these facilities seem to be available, but there are broader issues that prevent access to healthcare, all of which cannot be address through the Comprehensive Plan. A greater understanding of the existing barriers to healthcare will help develop a healthier community.
According the County Health Rankings and Roadmaps, provided by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, Fayette County is ranked 8th in the state for health outcomes (length and quality of life) and 11th in the state for health factors (health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors, and the physical environment). This demonstrates that there is still room for improvement.
A healthy community has three basic elements: It starts with a healthy environment in which to live and work; one with clean air and water, opportunities for physical exercise and open space for citizens to enjoy and relax. On a national level, public health officials and planners have been working to develop tools and information to help plan communities to support physical activity.
A healthy community also includes preventive health, which means that citizens seek healthcare throughout their lives in order to stay healthy. Preventive health initiatives will ensure our citizens attain high-quality, longer lives free of preventable disease, disability, injury, and premature death.
Lastly, a healthy community includes healthcare services of various types, to address various needs. Lexington does have a range of healthcare services that have recently been expanded or are in the process of expanding, which will help to achieve health equity, eliminate disparities, and improve the health of all groups.
A partnership with the Lexington-Fayette County Health Department should be forged to develop planning initiatives that will improve the community’s public health.