By Tamera Manzanares
It’s a rare day that we don’t think about our health, our family’s health or the wellbeing of others around us. Maybe you worry about diabetes, cancer or mental health or are concerned about how the economy, housing and other factors are influencing wellness in our communities.
Residents of Routt and Moffat counties are encouraged to weigh in on these important issues by taking part in a Community Health Needs Assessment. The project, a joint effort between the Northwest Colorado Visiting Nurse Association and Yampa Valley Medical Center, seeks to answer an important and complicated question: What do our communities need to be healthier?
The project’s online survey is the easiest way to share your feedback. Focus groups also are being planned to give people the opportunity to share their opinions. The groups will take place in both counties at the end of October and beginning of November. Watch the newspaper for details.
The Health Needs Assessment will help community partners understand key problems affecting people’s health and develop programs and goals to address those problems. This may involve strengthening or creating new health services, programs and resources and spurring dialog among community leaders about how to improve the overall health environment. “We are focused on hearing from people in all walks of life and all parts or our counties. High level data only tells part of the story,” said Lisa Brown, CEO of the VNA. “People sharing what is happening in their neighborhoods, work and lives will help create the opportunity for everyone to live their best life.”
The online survey, which takes about 10 minutes, focuses on what factors are needed for a healthy community and which of those are sufficient or lacking where we live. The project’s organizers hope to learn more about residents’ perspectives of disease, risky behaviors and lifestyle choices and health education and resources available in our communities. They also want to know how our communities are succeeding in keeping people healthy.
“We are listening and look forward to sharing what we hear in the upcoming year,” Brown said.
Click here to learn more about the Health Needs Assessment and take the survey. Paper surveys are available at the Northwest Colorado VNA in Steamboat Springs and Craig.