By Joyce Marie Taylor
The Florida Department of Health-Hamilton County held their monthly Strategic Health Planning Committee meeting on Tuesday, June 24, and an impressive line up of local and regional community leaders were in attendance, along with Jeff Feller, representing the WellFlorida Council.
In attendance were Mark Lander, Johnny Bullard, Nancy Sult, Brenda Brown and Aurelio Perea, all from the health department; Michelle Waterman, Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park; Pam Lake, FDLRS/Gateway; Grace McDonald, Hamilton County Alcohol and Other Drug Prevention Coalition; Susan Ramsey, Hamilton County Economic Development Authority, Sandy Hurst, Hamilton County Coordinator’s Office; Mac Leggett, Hamilton County EMS; Michelle Lee, Hamilton County Tobacco Free Partnership; and Ida Daniels, Hamilton County Schools Food and Nutrition Service Coordinator, who also served as moderator of the meeting.
The major objective of this particular meeting was to make final recommendations for the county’s Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP).
Feller explained that the Community Health Assessment (CHA) process is a data-driven picture of the health of Hamilton County, and that it has been completed.
“We are in the process of analyzing the data tables and giving you a summary of the relevant parts,” said Feller.
He plans to give a summary presentation to the committee members within the next two months. Meanwhile, he asked all present to review and answer a series of 10 questions that will be on a Community Health Assessment Survey that will be distributed to residents of Hamilton County through a variety of outlets, including through an online survey service. Folks will be asked to take the survey, which only takes about 10-15 minutes to fill out. The questions aren’t difficult and are basically multiple choice. All the surveys received by Aug. 5 will then be compiled and entered into a database, which will be used to update the CHIP.
The questions are health related as pertains to the community and honest answers from those responding will make for an accurate assessment of the issues and needs of the community as a whole. Feller plans to have the completed CHIP ready for the next committee meeting on Aug. 12, for the members to review for accuracy.
“Then we’ll basically have the CHIP update for 2014 that will help keep us going for the next couple of years, until we need to look at it again,” said Feller.
All those who fill out a survey will be placed in a drawing for a $50 Visa gift card. Stay tuned for more information and a list of places where you can go to fill out the survey.