Secondary Data Summary
In addition to engaging community members and soliciting input from community
stakeholders, East Tennessee Children’s Hospital also compiled internal
administrative data and key health indicators to further explore the current
needs of our community.
Internal administrative data was collected from admission records, diagnoses,
and screenings implemented in physicians’ offices. External data
was collected from the Knox County Health Department Community Health
Needs Assessment which can be found at
https://knoxcounty.org/health/pdfs/CHA_web_2015.pdf; County Health Rankings 2018, Tennessee; Robert Wood Johnson Foundation;
2018 State and County QuickFacts, and U.S. Census Bureau).
There are significant disparities in socioeconomic conditions between the
16 counties served by East Tennessee Children’s Hospital. The rate
of children living in poverty is equivalent or exceeds 25% of the childhood
population in 10 of the 16 counties. The percentage of children who are
participating in free or reduced lunch programs at school approaches 50%
for all counties and exceeds 70% in four counties. Poverty and food insecurity
is a growing concern because of the linkages between these social determinants
and poor health outcomes.
In December 2017, physicians offices began screenings for food insecurity.
Initial findings showed that 12% of parents reported their families struggled
to put food on the table. Research has found a correlation between food
insecurity, fast food consumption, childhood obesity, and childhood diabetes.
According to school health officials, the number of insulin dependent
children in the schools is on the rise. This places increased stress on
school personnel who now be responsible for monitoring students’
sugar levels and insulin administration. According to statistics provided
by patient records, the average age of patients when first diagnosed with
Type 2 Diabetes is declining (see figure below).