Take survey, contribute to study of health in community

Citrus County Chronicle

THE ISSUE: Many factors affect a community’s health.

OUR OPINION: You can play a role in the future for Citrus County.

When the topic is “health,” most of us probably think in terms of aches and pains, diseases or medical conditions, access to care or how to pay for it.  But a community’s health encompasses so much more, including such factors as jobs and the economy, water quality, access to exercise opportunities, reliable transportation, affordable housing, alcohol/drug/tobacco use and strong family ties, among many others.

How does Citrus County stack up?

Several months ago, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation published results from its annual nationwide study on population health, with results specific to nearly every county in the United States. The report showed that Citrus is not particularly healthy compared to other counties in Florida: We ranked 50 out of Florida’s 67 counties.

What’s really going on here, and what can we do to improve the community’s health? Those are the questions that the Citrus Community Health Advisory Partnership (C-CHAP) aims to answer. They are reaching out to community members in all areas for input on health outcomes as well as contributing factors, with an eye to creating a Community Heath Improvement Plan.  In other communities, similar plans have helped focus efforts on stubborn issues affecting county residents and helped mold public policy.

The C-CHAP group is spearheaded by Lisa McCafferty, the county’s public health officer, and led by a community-based steering committee working with WellFlorida Council, the state-designated health planning organization for our area.

How can you have a say in our community’s health future?  Right now, you can complete a survey to help with the data gathering. It takes just five to 10 minutes. There are three surveys, so choose the one right for you: for citizens, for businesspeople or for health care providers. They are available online for anyone with Internet access and in hard copy at a number of locations countywide.

Following the survey phase, there will be in-person focus groups scheduled throughout the community to explore in greater depth the areas revealed as most problematic by surveys. The times and places will be well publicized.

The surveys will be available for several more weeks, but why not just do it now, while you’re thinking about it? Take part in building a healthier Citrus County for the future.

SURVEY

To take the survey, go directly to one of the links below. In addition to doing something for the good for the community, when you take the survey you also have a chance to win one of 10 VISA cards worth $50 each.

Choose only one of the surveys to answer.

* Here is the link to the business leader survey:www.surveymonkey.com/r/citrushealth2015bl.

* Here is the link to the health care provider survey:www.surveymonkey.com/r/citrushealth2015pr.

* Here are links to the citizen survey: In English —www.surveymonkey.com/r/citrushealth2015 and in Spanish —www.surveymonkey.com/r/citrus2015salud. 

There will be hard copies of the citizen survey at county libraries and senior centers, and in some county offices. They are

available to be emailed in .pdf format, as well. If you need a printed, hard copy version of the survey, call or email Jeff Feller at jfeller@wellflorida.org or 352-313-6500, ext. 108, for information on where you can pick up a printed copy of the survey to complete by hand.

Read the article online at: http://www.chronicleonline.com/content/take-survey-contribute-study-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.

Proudly serving the following Florida counties:
Alachua, Bradford, Citrus, Columbia, Dixie, Gilchrist, Hamilton, Hernando, Lafayette, Lake, Levy, Marion, Putnam, Sumter, Suwannee and Union.

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