07/01/12 — Surveys sought for community health assessement

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Surveys sought for community health assessement

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on July 1, 2012 1:50 AM

Have you taken the Wayne County Community Health Needs Assessment yet?

The surveys, designed to address the major health and community issues locally, are still being collected through July.

Officials with Wayne Memorial Hospital and the Wayne County Health Department are asking people to respond to the 10- to 15-minute online questionnaire, which covers issues affecting quality of life to access to health care and other services. Several focus groups also have been held to spark further discussion.

"The focus groups, those have been outstanding, with six to 15 people at each," said Rebecca Craig, chief financial officer at Wayne Memorial.

The hospital, along with the health department, spearheaded the effort to develop the health assessment, beginning in January, with representatives from a cross-section of agencies and organizations in the community.

At the outset, the goal was to elicit 600 survey responses, but Mrs. Craig suggested the ideal would be to receive at least 1,000.

To date, 648 surveys have been received.

Representation is needed from all areas of the county, with responses especially requested from Mount Olive and Dudley, she said.

According to target goals set for each area, Fremont has had the best feedback, exceeding the number of surveys required.

A breakdown of other segments of the county showed that for those within the Goldsboro zip code 27530, 128 surveys are still needed, while 40 are still needed from the 27534 zip code.

In Mount Olive, another 98 surveys would be ideal, while 59 would meet the need from the Dudley area.

An additional 42 surveys are requested from Seven Springs residents, officials said, while 24 more from Pikeville would be helpful and five from LaGrange would round out representation from that area.

Surveys can be found online at tinyurl.com/ WCHNA as well as through links on several websites, including waynegov.org, waynehealth.org, Wayne County Public Library, www.wcpl.org; and YMCA, www.goldsboroymca.org.

Paper copies, in English as well as Spanish, are also available at the front desk at all branches of the public library, Wayne Memorial Hospital, the YMCA and the Goldsboro News-Argus.

As an incentive, Mrs. Craig said, everyone who fills out a survey receives two weeks free at the YMCA. This offer is limited to one per household and the person must be at least 18 years old.

Deadline to submit the surveys is July 31.

At the next meeting of the group, Aug. 8, there will be a discussion of the survey responses and focus groups.

Then on Oct. 30, the public will be invited to attend a presentation of the findings at 5:30 p.m. in Moffatt Auditorium at Wayne Community College.

One possible outgrowth of the efforts will be a publication containing resources in Wayne County, said Mrs. Craig.

"In connection with the Wayne County Community Health Assessment, Brooke Bitzenhofer, a public health intern at East Carolina University, has been assisting Carolyn King, health educator at Wayne County Department of Health, in compiling a resource guide for health and wellness, that will be available to local residents, both online and on paper, in the fall," she said.

The goal, she added, is to focus on improving healthy eating habits and physical activity, as well as publicize traditional providers of treatment for mental and physical health conditions.

Anyone interested in being included in the directory is asked to contact Mrs. King at 731-1290. Deadline is Monday.