Healthy Iredell Coalition finalizing questions to aimed at identifying key health needs
BY DEBBIE PAGE
The Healthy Iredell Coalition, a group comprised of Iredell County citizens and agency and organization representatives, met last week to put the finishing touches on the Iredell County Community Health Assessment (CHA) survey and to plan the late-March rollout.
The last CHA was conducted in 2019. The group is in the process of finalizing the 2023 assessment questions, which will help identify key health needs and issues.
The survey helps the coalition monitor the health status of the community through surveys and data collection and develop the yearly State of the County Health Report. The coalition also gathers data in other ways for the Iredell County Health Department and coordinates subcommittees that work to improve specific health issues indicated by the CHA.
A Youth Survey is currently being tweaked to focus on this group’s differing health needs and habits to better reach teens with targeted programming.
After the CHA is complete, Healthy Iredell will develop strategies to target health inequities and identify resources to fill in the identified gaps. This continual data collection helps increase knowledge about community’s members health needs and seeks to connect them to activities, education and community resources to improve their health outcomes.
The data helps Healthy Iredell develop focus areas and to create a Community Health Action Plan to mitigate major health concerns over the next four-year cycle.
Group members recommended that the Healthy Iredell website page needs expansion and improvement to spread the word about its work, community data, and available community resources to help county residents improve their health and fitness levels.
FINALIZING THE SURVEY
The coalition members selected an inspiring paraphrase of a Coretta Scott King quotation to inspire community members to participate in the survey: “The greatness of a community is truly measured by the kind actions of its members.”
Participating in the survey is an act of kindness for all community and family members since it will help the Iredell County Health Department better care for everyone’s health needs by targeting dollars toward those most prevalent concerns in the community.
After the 2019 survey, the coalition developed programs addressing cancer treatment and prevention, fitness and diet, mental health, and youth wellness, based on the data collected that year.
Iredell Health Department’s Health Promotion Coordinator Dinikia Savage also discussed the length of the surveys and got group feedback to shorten the survey and reduce the number of questions to be more specific to the health data the health department needs to gather.
The coalition members also suggested creating sub questions based off of participant responses, such as “Have you used any substances?” and then having a drop-down option to specify which substances were used.
Adding a written answer option or a multiple selection option might also help clarify answers on some questions.
Group members will do a trial run of the digital survey in mid-March to catch any bugs or errors before the rollout.
Suggestions to encourage community members to complete the survey included having a prize raffle for participants.
A separate youth survey will be available, and teen/youth-centered organizations will be asked to encourage their population’s participation. The survey will not be administered through any school system.
Savage suggested administering the survey over four-month time frame, starting in late March.
The completed Community Health Assessment report, which feature compiled data and plans to improve community health gleaned from that data, is due to the state in March of 2024.
The coalition members recommended sending the survey out with an advertisement or visual/logo or some sort to brand it in newsletters and email blasts.
Email and social media blasts through organizations such as Partners, the Drug-Alcohol Coalition of Iredell, I-SS, Mitchell Community College, the Statesville and Mooresville-South Iredell Chambers, healthcare organizations and hospitals, the Cooperative Extension Center, and faith-based partners were also suggested.
Other organizations recommended were Statesville Parks and Recreation, Iredell County Parks and Recreation, the YMCAs, and Goodwill.
Coalition members also wanted to find organizations and outlets in the northern part of the county to increase participation in that area.
Engaging local media outlets and putting up flyers in businesses and doctors’ offices were other possibilities. The Statesville Housing Authority will also be asked to push the survey out in its newsletter and in their Wednesday walk-about.
The Healthy Iredell Coalition will next meet on March 21 at 3 p.m. at Iredell County Health Department.