It’s the start of a new year and one of the top resolutions is to get in shape. While you might be looking at ways to make yourself healthier, the St. Joseph Health Department is looking for ways to make the community healthier.
The Health Department is conducting a health assessment for Buchanan county residents to give input on what services they would like the department to improve on.
St. Joseph Health Department Health Educator Nancy King said the department did a similar survey in 2013. The assessment typically helps the department identify problems in the community and better identify the demographics of the St. Joseph population.
“We are conducting a community health assessment to try to get feedback from the community on what our residents feel are the biggest health issues and the priorities that we need to focus on for the next couple of years,” King said.“It helps us to identify issues such as obesity, mental health, those are always big issues in our community for the past several years.”
The 24 question assessment asks questions with regards to community health, wellness and safety with an emphasis on maternal and child health.
“While we are gathering information community wide in general, on overall health issues, we have a question or two related to issues for infants, children, adolescents and women of childbearing age, so we can develop our programs to address what are the most important needs in our community related to that population,” King said.
King said the assessment provides a unique insight to what the community feels is most needed in St. Joseph.
“Part of the community health survey is two-fold. It’s collecting data that will tell us; what is the leading cause of death, what are the most prevalent diseases, things like that. We take that data and compare it to the survey, which is the opinions of the community, to see what the community feels are the most important needs,” King said. “What the community feels there is the most important, is where we are going to have the most buy in to be able to make changes to make the community better.”
Employees from the Health Department will be will be in various places around town for the next two weeks offering a paper copy of the survey for those who don’t have internet access.
The survey is available online at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/stjoehealthsurvey until January 12.