Stanly health survey deadline nears

The Stanly County Health Department will conduct a countywide community health assessment this year, as required by the state, and in order to do this, county residents ages 15 and older are encouraged to complete a community health assessment survey.

The survey will be available on both the health department’s and the county’s websites through Feb. 17.

“The results of this survey tell us what health and community issues are important to the people of Stanly County,” said Debbie Bennett, public health educator with the county health department.

The health department and Atrium Health Stanly are responsible for conducting the health assessment every three years and preparing the subsequent report, which is usually more than 100 pages in length. The data from the report is broken down into many categories including age, marital status, race, educational status and zip code.

“If you like numbers, this will be heaven,” Bennett said.

The survey results along with state data will help direct the health department to select three health issues to focus on “and the majority of our resources are then given to those issues,” she said.

For the last community health assessment report, which was conducted in 2018, the top three issues decided upon by the public were tobacco use, substance misuse and obesity. It also led to the establishment of a comprehensive plan to address substance misuse, Bennett said.

“This is a useful document, it is not one that collects dust on a shelf or is hidden in a computer folder,” she said.

The health assessment is also used by agencies, nonprofits and other groups when considering whether to issue key grants to the county.

“It is not unusual for a granter to request a community health assessment as part of its requirements,” Bennett said.