Data sought on health of community

Citrus County Chronicle Online

By Michael D. Bates

So what are the most pressing health issues of the day?

Is it cancer? Drug abuse? Poverty? Eating unhealthy foods? Or some other behavior that leads to unhealthy lifestyles? Is your neighborhood a safe place to live and do you believe you have good access to local health services?

The Citrus County Community Health Advisory Partnership (C-Chap) wants to know and has launched its 2015 Citrus County Health Survey to hear from residents, health care providers and business owners.

When the data is collected, C-Chap will create a community health assessment and health improvement plan for the entire county to be used during the next 10 years to help improve conditions.

The survey also asks people how they rank local health care services, the cost of health insurance, access to primary care of specialty doctors and wait times in hospital emergency rooms.

Lauren Vagelakos, associate planner with WellFlorida Council, said the results of this survey will be used to guide health officials moving forward.

Speaking before about 50 people at Wednesday’s Citrus County Council meeting, Vagelakos said it is important that the community fill out the survey either online or via printed version. The survey takes about 10-15 minutes to complete, she said.

Vagelakos said her goal is to get at least 1,000 completed surveys, which would provide a fairly accurate snapshot of Citrus County health issues. Judging from the level of community involvement she has seen so far in this county, Vagelakos is confident she will hit or surpass that 1,000-mark goal.

“People in Citrus County seem very enthusiastic to give their opinion when it comes to health,” she said.

Vagelakos said she will probably keep the survey going for about six weeks. The first one goes out to citizens. After that, business owners and health care providers will receive their own surveys. The agency will meld all the survey responses — along with state health data — into a unified document which should be available for public viewing by September.

As an incentive for participating in the survey, residents have a chance to win a $50 VISA gift card.

The Florida Department of Health in Citrus County helped form C-Chap, which is comprised of local community leaders, business owners and others. Well Florida Council is a nonprofit consultancy group assisting with the surveys.

HEALTH SURVEY

* To take the survey for individuals, visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/citrushealth2015

* To take the survey for health care providers, visit https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/citrushealth2015pr

* For more information or to receive a hard-copy survey, contact lvagelakos@wellflorida.org or call 352-313-6500, ext. 115.

Read this article online at: http://www.chronicleonline.com/content/data-sought-health-community

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WellFlorida Council, Inc. is a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization created in 1969. We are the state designated local health council for 16 counties in North Central Florida and specialize in health-related consultancy for clients and projects throughout Florida.

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