Health Survey Offered To County Residents
On an average day, most of us shoot off dozens — if not hundreds — of clicks on our computer mouse. What if a handful of clicks and 10 minutes of your day could help improve the future of McDonald County? Now they can.
The Harry S. Truman Coordinating Council is collaborating with the McDonald County Health Department to conduct a Health Needs Survey for the community. The survey is funded through a Community Convening Grant that was awarded to six counties in the state by the Missouri Foundation for Health.
This grant focuses on identifying pressing health needs in the community, then working to implement policies and programs to create sustainable changes for healthier lifestyles throughout McDonald County.
The McDonald County Health Needs Survey can be completed at www.htscc. org/surveys. Those who submit their survey will be entered into a drawing for a $25 Walmart gift certificate.
Brandy Setzer has been associated with the survey for almost a year — near the program’s inception. She became involved with the HSTCC through her work at the Health Department, where she had garnered experience working with grants.
The survey is the first of its kind for the area, which made compiling the survey a challenge. Questions were narrowed down from a collection of other surveys.
In an attempt to learn about the environment and demographics, the survey inquires about age, employment, housing, mental and physical health, healthcare, childcare, transportation, substance use, lifestyle and finances, among other things.
“The goal is to identify health needs and disparities. Where there are needs, we aim to find and implement policies to help,” Setzer said. “And data gathered from the in-depth, personal survey can be used to target specific grants in the future.” According to KIDSCOUNT data collected by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, McDonald County has one of the highest rates of child poverty, teenage pregnancy and substance abuse, while having no accredited childcare facilities and only one ambulance provider in the county.
Setzer noted there is also a need for affordable housing, improved transportation and available employment within the community.
“Now, we’re waiting for the data to identify and prioritize the community’s needs. Then the Center for Health Policy will help link us with policies and grants to address the issues,” Setzer said. The next challenge will be to implement new programs to help remedy the overall health concerns.”
Setzer said close to 250 surveys have been submitted to date. HSTCC tracks the diversity of submissions and is currently seeking additional input from men and residents of outlying communities such as Rocky Comfort and Southwest City. Setzer hopes to receive 500 surveys in total, which would give voice to 2 percent of the population.
McDonald County residents have until Tuesday, Oct. 16, to complete the survey and be entered into the gift certificate giveaway. All survey answers will remain anonymous.