SNOW HILL – The Worcester County Health Department is seeking input from community members on issues related to health.
Officials with the Worcester County Health Department are encouraging community members to complete a brief online survey for its Community Themes and Strengths Assessment, created to identify assets in the community and issues that are important to community members.
“It’s the first of four assessments we’ll do throughout the year to assess the health of the community,” Jennifer LaMade, director of planning, quality and core services, said. “This is an opportunity for the community to share their perceptions of health in Worcester County.”
Health Planner Jackie Ward noted community participation is critical in identifying and addressing the most important health issues in Worcester County. She said the online survey consists of 38 questions focused on quality of life, community health and health issues, and demographic information.
“All of the responses are confidential,” she said, “so we are asking that people be as open and honest as possible.”
The Community Themes and Strengths Assessment is part of a community-driven strategic planning process used by public health leaders to improve community health. The assessment is one of four assessments used to develop the health department’s Community Health Improvement Plan.
“We do this assessment every three to five years,” LaMade explained. “Our last Community Health Improvement Plan was done in 2016 and published in 2017.”
Following the assessment process, officials review both qualitative and quantitative data and identify the most important issues facing the community. The Community Health Improvement Plan lists priority health issues and develops goals and strategies for addressing each priority area.
“As a health department we don’t want to create a Community Health Improvement Plan without the community,” LaMade said. “It’s a community-based plan and the more feedback we get only makes it a stronger plan.”
LaMade noted the health department hopes to collect 550 responses for the Community Themes and Strengths Assessment. She noted the last survey amassed roughly 450 responses.
“The higher the percentage of the population that completes the survey, the stronger our data becomes,” she said.
For more information, or to complete the survey, visit www.worcesterhealth.org. The survey will be open throughout the month of February.
“The survey is open to anyone that lives, works or plays in Worcester County,” Public Affairs Officer Travis Brown said.