CAC assessment survey focus groups go virtual

By Jennifer Woods - [email protected]

Virtual focus groups will soon be held as a follow-up to a community needs and health assessment survey that began in March, and all county citizens are encouraged to take part.

Although the survey was done for both Fayette County Public Health and the Community Action Commission (CAC) of Fayette County, the upcoming focus groups are for CAC’s portion.

A survey for CAC is done once every three years and assists the agency in determining what areas to focus efforts and attention on for the three years between each survey. Conducting the survey and related business also helps CAC to meet “Community Services Block Grant” funding standards.

“The focus groups are intended to get qualitative data to support our community needs assessment,” explained Christina Blair, the planner for CAC, by email. “During the meeting, we’ll dive into the information and gain insights we’re not able to get from simple surveys.”

According to Blair, 91 members of the community responded to the needs assessment survey which was fewer than the prior survey in 2017 when 129 people responded. This year, Blair was unable to go to public events, such as the Community Health Fair and Family Fun Day, to promote the survey due to cancellations from the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jess Diver, a director of a non-local Community Action Commission agency, is acting as consultant for the focus groups as his agency, and the local agency, are both part of the Ohio Association of Community Action Agencies.

“They’re doing a deeper dive into the data and talking more about the results of the survey, and the meaning behind why we need the things that we’re needing, or further exploring the services that were recommended,” said Blair.

The virtual focus groups allows a way during the pandemic for community members to join this deeper dive and give feedback simultaneously. There are two scheduled focus groups with different ways to access them.

The first focus group is planned for Monday, May 18 from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. It can be accessed online at, or by calling 786-535-3211 during the meeting time. The access code is 928-157-133.

The second focus group is planned for Tuesday, May 19 from 1:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. It can be accessed online at, or by calling 646-749-3112 during the meeting time. The access code is 204-946-925.

There is an app that can be installed prior to the meeting for those new to “GoToMeeting,” according to Blair, at Once this app is downloaded, the access code can be used to find the meeting and prompts followed to join either by phone or computer (with the option to use a webcam and/or mic).

“I’d like to reiterate how important the community needs assessment is and the members of our community participating, because it shapes the direction of services and development of new programs for us over the next three years,” said Blair.

Reach Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355 or on Twitter @JennMWoods.

By Jennifer Woods

[email protected]