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November 06
Residents Urged to Participate in Effort to Assess Wake County's Health, Well-being

Results will help affect long-term change in our community

How well is Wake County? An effort to identify Wake County's health needs and measure its well-being kicks off next week, and residents are encouraged to participate. On Monday, Nov. 9, the 2016 Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) began collecting data from the county's diverse population and will use that information to create a report that will help drive positive change in our community.

"This will not be a document that will just sit on the shelf and collect dust," said Wake County Board of Commissioners Chairman James West, who also serves as co-chair of the steering committee leading this effort. "We will use it to create a strategic action plan that the county, local hospitals and community partners can use to collectively improve the health and well-being of our citizens."

The CHNA will gather input from the public in several ways, which include:

  • Telephone surveys. Trained representatives called a stratified, random sampling of 300 Wake County residents Nov. 9–24 to gather their responses to a number of important questions related to social, medical and environmental issues;
  • An online survey. Wake County residents can go to wakegov.com/wellbeing and click on the CHNA survey button to answer a series of questions on topics ranging from housing and education to access to health care. The survey will be accessible on computers or mobile devices, and take 20 minutes or less to complete. The survey will close on Dec. 23;
  • Focus groups. Trained representatives have conducted 10 focus group meetings this month. Each group consisted of six to 12 people. Eight of the focus groups engaged residents from each of Wake County Human Services' eight geographic service zones. The remaining two focus groups included people from different ethnic populations, age groups and socioeconomic backgrounds. Participants were sought via email and word of mouth; and
  • In-person interviews. Interviewers have met face-to-face with members of specific subpopulations in Wake County, such as non-English speakers, people experiencing homelessness, area youth, and those with mental and physical disabilities, to ensure their insight is represented in the data collected.

"The people of our community make Wake County a wonderful place to live, work and play," said Donald Gintzig, president and CEO of WakeMed Health & Hospitals and co-chair of the CHNA steering committee. "We, however, know there is a great deal of work to be done to ensure all of our neighbors have the opportunity to thrive for generations to come. We strongly urge all citizens to participate in the survey over the next month. By sharing your unique perspective, you can play a critical role in helping set the priorities for the health and well-being of the community."

The data collection process will continue through Dec. 23. In early 2016, the steering committee will launch a second online survey, asking Wake County residents to help prioritize the needs identified in the initial survey. Once that process is complete, the information gleaned will be used to draft a final report, which will be released in the summer of 2016. The findings will provide the foundation for a community call to action to make improvements that will benefit residents' health and well-being.

The CHNA is a collaborative effort among Wake County Human Services; WakeMed Health & Hospitals, Duke Raleigh Hospital and UNC Rex Healthcare; Advance Community Health (formerly known as Wake Health Services); United Way of the Greater Triangle; and Wake County Medical Society Community Health Foundation. The CHNA process is overseen by a steering committee composed of more than 60 community partners including local government, hospitals, schools, faith-based organizations, nonprofit organizations, businesses and other stakeholders.

When sharing information about the CHNA on social media, the partners will use this hashtag: #WakeWellbeing.





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