Originally published in The Jamestown Sun on 7/5/12.
By: Kari Lucin, The Jamestown Sun
Area health care providers continue to gather information about what health issues the community cares about, and have scheduled a public meeting to discuss the results of a phone survey.
The meeting and surveys are part of the community health assessment (CHA) and community health improvement (CHIP) effort, led by Central Valley Health District.
“Ultimately, we want to identify three to five priority areas to focus on,” said Tami Dillman, CVHD finance manager.
About 25 health agencies in Stutsman and Logan counties have been working on the assessment and plan, which serves as community health’s form of strategic planning.
The effort collects and collates data to assess health needs and possible solutions, and is partly funded with a $35,000 grant from the National Association of County and City Health Officials.
The information-gathering that has taken place has included existing information about the counties’ health, but also included a telephone survey of 400 people by Winkelman Consulting.
Survey topics included diet and exercise, alcohol use, sexual activity, access to care, education and employment, family and social support and community safety.
Information about the survey results will be presented to the public at a lunch meeting at 11:30 a.m. July 16 at the Gladstone Inn & Suites. People interested in attending should RSVP by calling 252-8130 or emailing email@example.com.
More information-gathering is planned for after the July meeting, including online surveys and Quick Response (QR) Code links to surveys.
Then the group will set to work determining the community’s health priorities.
Data will also be used to determine how to educate the public further about activities health care agencies already do that they might not know about, said Robin Iszler, CVHD unit administrator.
“It’s just exciting to get the whole community aligned,” said Samantha Revering, marketing specialist at Jamestown Regional Medical Center.
Community input has been a critical part of the process, Dillman added, and it’s best that community health priorities be based on the pulse of the community itself.
“We started with a large amount of options in February,” said Mona Klose, an outside evaluator of the CHA/CHIP process who works at Jamestown College, describing the group’s work to narrow down the possibilities, so it could focus on a few key areas.
“Now, I think, is the most exciting part. It’s what the community wants to do with that data,” Dillman said. “It’s been a great process so far, and we hope we get lots of feedback.”
Sun reporter Kari Lucin can be reached at 701-952-8453 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org