It was standing room only at an annual community conversation on health rankings. The meeting happened at the Topeka and Shawnee County Public Library on Monday afternoon.
Shawnee County currently ranks 79th out of 102 in the state for health outcomes. That is an 18 spot drop from last year when the county was 61st.
An increase in suicides and murders are two of the big factors in the county’s drop. People at the meeting were surveyed on how to improve health in Shawnee County.
Chairman of Heartland Healthy Neighborhoods Craig Barnes said the survey responses will be used to create a community improvement plan.
“What that will do, is we’ll actually look at the goals and we’ll develop strategies from there that we can make an impact on,” Barnes said. “And those will actually be the strategies that will drive our work for the next 3 to 5 years.”
Barnes said the plan will evolve as they get more information about people’s health in the county.