Southern Illinois Healthcare's Community Health Needs Assessment shows the region still exceeds national averages in cancer, chronic disease, and poverty.
The report, released Wednesday, helps leaders focus their efforts on treatment and prevention.
Jennifer Badiu heads up SIH's Cancer Institute. She says knowing cancer rates helps her branch of the organization better target screenings and other programs to try to detect the disease earlier.
"We have to use this data to help target screenings, initiatives, awareness, provide more access to care, and ensure that patients have the ability to get the care they deserve, and not feel like financial implications are going to impact their decisions."
Statistics over the past three years show the seven counties in SIH's service area exceed state and national averages for poverty, depression, tobacco use, cancer, and more.
Cardiologist Vadzim Chyzhyk says many times patients are dealing with multiple issues - and things like depression can make other conditions worse.
"People who are anxious, they are anxious to take medications. So even if they have other problems like heart disease, they tend not to take their medications or be apprehensive about making medical decisions. We see that a lot in our offices."
The assessment is done every three years. SIH leaders and community partners say they use the information to target screenings for chronic disease and cancer, develop new programs and initiatives, and more.