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Secondary Data Summary

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).

Average Dx Age of Patients with Type 2 Diabetes