Women’s Health Improving In Shelby County

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(Memphis) Memphis is one of the unhealthiest cities in the country when it comes to heart health and obesity.

Despite our grim numbers there is good news when it comes to women’s health.

Shelby County is actually improving according to a national researcher who says health is significantly improving in Memphis.

Less women are dying from preventable diseases in Shelby County while surrounding counties are getting worse.

Nicole Meredith is a nurse practitioner with Baptist Medical group and has noticed women in Shelby County taking better care of themselves, “People are trying. Our health is improving and our obesity rate is improving thanks to changes with our health."

Meredith says most insurance companies are catching on to the idea that it's better to cover preventative measure rather than just treating people once they're ill.

She says because of this more people are coming in early and catching problems before they become life threatening, “We do see aspects of preventative care such as breast cancer screening and colonoscopies screenings, a lot of that we do see improving."

The study shows nationally women's health is on the decline.

Meredith says Shelby County could be going against that national trend because we have known about our challenges for a while and focused a lot attention on improving them.

A good example of that is The Healthy Church Challenge where BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee teams up with 50 local churches in West Tennessee for a 100 day challenge to lose weight.

“Sometimes the negative attention will help boost the idea in people`s heads that we need to change something and we need to fix this and just to better our outcome in our lives and in are children`s lives,” said Meredith.

Meredith says she has also noticed a change with patient compliance, and people actually doing what the doctor says because most people in town have been exposed to the heartbreak associated with failing health.