Kittitas County Case Study

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The state of Washington is home to a host of different communities, with a healthy mix of urban and rural populations across its terrain. Kittitas County encompasses one such populace. Located in the center of the state, Kittitas County is comprised of several rural and small, but growing communities. Its 2,297 square miles and 40,915 residents span from the top of Snoqualmie Pass in the Cascade Mountains to the Columbia River, with the Yakima River and Interstate 90 running through the middle of the county (Read, 2012). The county seat is located in the county’s largest town, Ellensburg, with a population of 18,174 including over 9,000 students attending Central Washington University (Read, 2012). Other incorporated towns include Kittitas,…show more content…
Much effort was put into generating a community health assessment and improvement plan that wholly applied to the county. The work to create the community health assessment and community health improvement plan is already being implemented throughout the county. With a heavy emphasis on quality, affordable healthcare, Kittitas County has laid the groundwork for a promising future with regard to the health of its people. What is more, should these attempts prove successful in Kittitas County, this can provide a possible framework for health improvements in other counties around the country, especially the rural counties that show great parallels to that of Kittitas. With that said, there are still many issues the county must deal with in the future. These include making more jobs, increasing wages for existing jobs and, offering more jobs with a living wage. For this county to see further growth, it must put an emphasis on discerning new ways to pull more people into the populace through jobs, attractions, and other factors of that influence livelihood. As a largely rural county, this means Kittitas County must look at the positive aspects of other rural areas in the Pacific Northwest as well as throughout the nation to find which characteristics can also apply to this county, and how to incorporate those aspects effectively. More research is also needed for more concrete health data, census numbers, and understanding of which areas the county will need to focus on in the future, following its work to provide more accessible and affordable quality healthcare to the population. Nevertheless, Kittitas County has discovered some areas of needed improvement in the county and is working hard to see the results of these efforts. With progress, the other strategies can be produced and implemented to further develop this growing community.
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