Leaders say better health could lead to a better economy

By Angela Sparkman | 

Some eastern Kentucky leaders believe improved health will lead to a better economy.

That was discussed Friday at the ARC Conference at Jenny Wiley State Park in Floyd County.

Some eastern Kentucky leaders say poor health in the region could lead to bigger financial problems down the road.

"We have to look at that, otherwise, we will be spending an awful lot of dollars on healthcare issues rather than having a better quality of life," said Harlan County Judge-Executive Joe Grieshop.
Local leaders discussed how to solve health problems at the ARC conference.

"I'm very concerned about what we can do as a county government in helping our citizens have better health and better health services," said Grieshop.

"A healthy community is just good for the economy," said Kay Hammond, Director of the Appalachian Pregnancy Care Center in Pikeville.

Some leaders say they got good ideas at the ARC Conference on how to work together to improve local healthcare.

They say it will be a community effort, but it starts in homes.

"How important it is for mothers to take care of their health so that they can raise healthy children," said Hammond.

Some local health workers say small steps are already making a big difference towards reducing smoking and increasing cancer screenings.

"We've been able to use small bits of money to create public awareness in so many things," said Jean Rosenberg, Advocate with the Floyd County Health Department.

They think each small step could have a big impact later on to improve the work force and cut healthcare costs.

The ARC Conference finished on Friday. Organizers called it a success.

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