Resident interviews for Community Health Assessment begin this week in Sarasota County
Empowering Healthy People in Healthy Places
SARASOTA COUNTY – The Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County (DOH-Sarasota) will gather information from area residents starting on Wednesday, April 29 for the county’s 2015 Community Health Assessment. This is the third survey that local health officials have conducted since 2006. Unlike the paper surveys that were mailed to a randomized group of households in past years, this year’s survey will be a conducted through in-person interviews with residents in randomly selected neighborhoods. The trained volunteers will have an official badge identifying them with this project. The survey will take about 15 minutes, and individual responses to questions will be analyzed in aggregate form to provide a big picture of perceived and actual health concerns.
“We are using a survey method that has been tested and determined to be reliable, says DOH-Sarasota’s Health Planning, Education, and Promotion Program Administrator Beth Kregenow. “The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Community Assessment for Public Health Emergency Response (CASPER) method is typically used in gathering information following a natural disaster.”
|Empowering Healthy People in Healthy Places|
About 200 households throughout the county will be included in the survey. Health officials say that even if they reach 80 percent of their goal, they will still have a statistically valid survey. Questions will cover a range of health topics, including tobacco use, access to healthy foods, physical activity habits, stress, chronic health issues, social support, and health care seeking patterns. Questions will mirror those that the CDC uses in telephonic surveys for the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS) to allow for comparison with national and statewide data.
Individuals who participate will receive a gift card. Residents who are not home will be provided with a card with contact information providing them with the opportunity to participate in the survey at a later date by telephone.
According to local public health officials, the survey results will allow them to document trends since the last survey that took place in 2010. Information from interviews with key informants or opinion leaders and other existing data along with these door-to-door survey results will be shared in focus groups during May. This will serve as a basis for establishing action plans to improve health services.
The Community Health Improvement Partnership (CHIP) is a collaboration of community members, agencies, funding organizations and health care providers working to improve the health of Sarasota County residents. CHIP engages residents to study local health issues and develop effective solutions. Plans are formulated through the grassroots Community Health Action Teams (CHATs) that target Newtown in north Sarasota, Laurel/Osprey/Venice/Nokomis (LOVN), North Port, and Englewood which have been in existence for about a decade.
This information derived from the survey will be included in Sarasota County’s Community Health Improvement Plan which will be available online at www.CHIP4health.org. For more information, please call 941-861-2969.