Highland News Leader

Madison County Health Department seeks community input on health concerns

The Madison County Health Department (MCHD) is asking for the public’s help developing as its goals for the next five years.

“Every five years, local health departments in Illinois are required to conduct a countywide health needs assessment, set countywide health priorities for the next five years, and lead the development of a community health plan to address these priorities,” said Amy J. Yeager, health promotion manager for the Madison County Health Department. “As part of this process, we would like to gather thoughts about health in Madison County from anyone who lives or work here. Citizen input is important to us, and we want to let their voice be heard.”

As part of the Illinois Project for Local Assessment of Needs (IPLAN) process, the health department as put together a Community Health Survey of four questions it would like people to answer. It takes a few minutes to complete. A paper copy is attached to this story. The questions can also be answered on the website surveymonkey.com.

Finding out what people see as health issues helps the health department and other agencies in the county know what is driving illness and helps to determine programming and strategies to help impact long-term health, planners said.

“The health priorities become the cornerstone for collaboration, programming, and strategies for many of our organizations and agencies to address long-term health issues by hearing through the people who live and work here every day what concerns them and needs addressed coupled with statistical data findings,” Yeager said.

MCHD will use the Community Health Survey data, along with focus group data from this spring and statistical data, to help set the health priorities.

“This survey is a chance for everyone who lives or works in Madison County to have a voice about the health concerns,” Yeager said. “Everyone knows of health concerns that affect themselves, their families, friends, co-workers, and communities. The more responses we receive, the clearer the picture will be as to what the community sees as health concerns.”

The deadline for taking the survey is June 30.