St. Lawrence County officials are urging residents to fill out a health survey that will be used to come up with a tailor-made plan that guides future services.
This is our own assessment of our health, county Public Health Director Susan J. Hathaway said. It will really help us determine what we do.
County agencies, along with the countys five hospitals, are collaborating on the effort and have hired a consultant who will compile the results and analyze them.
The results will become part of a community health assessment required by the state every four years, which is used to apply for grants and determine a direction for planning.
The survey was conducted mostly by telephone the last time it was done, which meant that results skewed toward senior citizens, who often have land lines and are home more than other residents.
This time, some telephone surveys are possible but the questionnaires also will be available online and at various locations so that people can answer at their own pace.
The survey is long, but that was necessary to gather all the information needed, Ms. Hathaway said. It is totally confidential, she said. We really want to hear from the public.
The survey will collect information on what people believe are the major health problems in the county, as well as information on their own personal health and experience with the health care system.
In addition to questions about individual and family health issues, the survey will ask residents to rank the importance of various potential problems such as well-water quality and transportation to medical appointments within the community.
Links to the survey can be found online at www.gethealthyslc.org, each hospitals website and the Public Health Departments website. To receive a survey in the mail or for more information, call the Health Initiative at 261-4760.
The survey will be distributed until the end of September.