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Poverty and healthcare access are two challenges facing Springfield and Greene County that are highlighted in a new community report card. The second Community Focus report card for Springfield and Greene County was released at a press conference Wednesday. KSMU's Missy Shelton reports.
The report highlights both the blue ribbons and red flags in the community.
Among the blue ribbons or strengths of the community: the response to the first report that was issued last year.
After its release, the Community Foundation of the Ozarks initiated the Grantmaker's Challenge for Children to encourage local foundations and families to address pressing needs identified in the report.
To date, 22 local organizations have pledged more than 6 point 1 million dollars to address the red flags identified in the report.
Gloria Galanes, co-chair of the Community Focus steering committee says there are a number of problems facing Springfield and Greene County.
Galanes says she hopes this report will remind people of the needs in the community.
While many of the issues raised in the Community Focus report could have local remedies, others will require action by legislators at the state and federal levels.
For example, state lawmakers cut the Medicaid program this year and cuts at the federal level are pending.
Kevin Gipson, director of the Springfield Greene County Health Department says healthcare access is a major problem in the community.
State lawmakers who supported the Medicaid cuts say the state can't afford to offer healthcare while other state needs go unmet.
Gary Funk is President of the Community Foundation of the Ozarks.
He says he hopes the Community Focus report will help lawmakers see the need to increase healthcare access rather than reduce it.
Even though healthcare access is a major challenge facing the community, Springfield Greene County Health Department director Kevin Gipson says there are a number of blue ribbons related to healthcare.
Members of the committee that created the Community Focus report say it will take an investment of both time and money to turn the community's red flags into blue ribbons.
Committee co-chair Gloria Galanes says she hopes those who can will use their financial resources to help with challenges facing the community.
She says others should consider giving their time.
Funding for the report comes from Community Foundation of the Ozarks, the Junior League of Springfield, the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce, the Springfield-Greene County Library District and the United Way of the Ozarks.