From the Harford County Health Department:
If you are a Harford County resident, you might be receiving a call that will help improve the health of the community.
Beginning on November 15, 2010, randomly selected residents will be called to participate in a health assessment survey designed to determine the key health issues in our community. Previously having conducted surveys in 1996, 2000 and 2005, Healthy Harford is now in the process of conducting the organization’s fourth Community Health Assessment Project (CHAP), the results of which are used to formulate strategy and develop programs in Harford County, as well as to set future health goals for our community.
“We are calling on all County residents to help,” states Harford County Health Officer Susan Kelly. “The comprehensive community assessment provides baseline health-related data that support planning for future health initiatives and also offers information to the Hospital, the Health Department and other health-oriented community agencies in Harford County to evaluate currently offered programs.
The upcoming survey will ask questions about access to health care; exercise and physical activity habits; prevalence of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, stroke and other diseases; and awareness of hypertension and cholesterol. Other topics include alcohol and tobacco usage, and cancer screenings. The call is expected to take about 10 minutes.
Holleran, a research firm located in Pennsylvania, has been hired to conduct this most important phone survey for Harford County. If you have caller ID, the number for Holleran may show up as a 717 area code. Residents are urgently requested not to hang up, and to please respond to the survey.
Kathy Kraft, Director of Community Health Improvement for Upper Chesapeake Health explains, “Healthy Harford recognizes the importance of measuring outcomes. In 1996, CHAP was initiated to establish a baseline in order that progress could be measured over time. We also wanted to be sure we were implementing programs that were having an impact in the community. After CHAP 2000, community report cards were developed and goals were established.”
Healthy Harford is the non profit 501c3 Healthy Communities Initiative of Harford County, comprised of a coalition of Harford County government agencies, business and non profits dedicated to improving the health of Harford County residents. Founded in 1993 by community leaders from the Harford County Health Department, Harford County Government, and Upper Chesapeake Health, its sole vision is to make Harford County the healthiest community in Maryland. Until 2008, Healthy Harford primarily conducted singular community awareness events targeting the detrimental affects that excessive weight, poor eating habits, and lack of physical activity have on the health status of Harford County residents. In recent years, the Healthy Harford Board of Directors voted to take a more comprehensive community approach, and has assembled a Community Action Team to focus on the prevention of chronic disease and obesity in Harford County. One of the highlights of the organization’s ongoing initiative is the observance of “Way to Wellness Week” held in early October in 2009 and 2010, during which events are staged throughout the County to draw attention to the importance of a healthy lifestyle.
So, if the phone rings and you are asked to participate in the community health assessment, take a few minutes to answer the questions for the health of your family, friends and neighbors.
For more information or if you have questions about the survey process, contact Kathy Kraft at Upper Chesapeake Health at 443-643-4252, visit the Healthy Harford website at www.healthyharford.org or visit the Harford County Health Department website at www.harfordcountyhealth.com.