LAKEWOOD, Ohio — In order to determine a path to healthy living in Lakewood, the community is taking a holistic approach.
This includes the city partnering with the Healthy Lakewood Foundation, Three Arches Foundation and the Center for Community Solutions.
Their efforts include the Lakewood Community Health Needs Assessment Report, which identified strengths and weaknesses in relation to the social detriments of health.
The recently released report — the first of two tied to the Lakewood Community Health Needs Assessment and a subsequent action plan — comes after nearly a year of research and analysis conducted by Community Solutions.
“The report that was released documents the needs of the community both in terms of data and in terms of resident perspective,” said Loren Anthes, project lead with the Center for Community Solutions.
“The purpose of the report was to help Lakewood residents know more about their community and help define what it should look like in the future.”
Built on primary data from the US Census, as well as secondary data tied to a broad, statistically representative community survey, numerous focus groups and interviews with key stakeholders in the city, the report is organized around the Center for Disease Control’s definitions for social determinants and documents key indicators of community health.
This includes economic stability, access to both quality education and health care, neighborhood and built environment and social and community context.
“The next phase involves an action plan, wherein the city and its partners will look to residents to once again identify how to address the needs of the community,” Anthes said.
“Some of these were already put forward by residents and include ideas like more affordable housing, safer pedestrian options for school children and residents with disabilities, as well as a greater effort to centralize community information.”
Now with the release of the assessment report, Mayor Meghan George said she looks forward to having conversations with the community.
“The report goes into the demographics in the community — the income, the employment rate, the poverty,” George said. “What was key to me was that Lakewood is showing better than Cuyahoga County — if you will — in a lot of areas, which was interesting.
“I’m looking forward to taking a deeper dive into this in the next couple of months. Now that we have that report we’re going to begin to develop that action plan. That’s set to kick off in October. Residents will be able to participate and provide feedback. This will give us a guide on how to make Lakewood a healthier community.”
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