CAC, FCPH seek assessment assistance

By Jennifer Woods - [email protected]

A meeting to assist with editing a community need assessment survey will be held on Tuesday, March 10 — residents as well as those who work in Fayette County are encouraged to attend.

The survey typically occurs once every three years and is completed by the Community Action Commission of Fayette County (CAC). This year, CAC and Fayette County Public Health (FCPH) are partnering to combine their needed surveys.

The meeting will be held at 9 a.m. at FCPH, 317 S. Fayette St. in Washington Court House.

According to Christina Blair, a planner with the CAC, the survey needs to be done as they receive “Community Services Block Grant” funding. The survey assists in the application for this grant so the organization knows what area(s) to focus on.

The prior need assessment was done in 2017.

“At that time we determined that substance abuse, the prevention of substance abuse, and domestic violence were the top three issues of concern for individuals that participated in our survey and our focus groups about what the causes and conditions of poverty were in our community at that time,” said Blair.

She further explained that the survey helps determine what areas she focuses her attention on throughout the next three years until the next survey is done. Following that 2017 survey for instance, CAC received a drug-free communities program for Fayette County as well as a world health opioid program. Both of which help with substance abuse and prevention in different ways.

“We also are getting ready to open a domestic violence program here in the community,” said Blair. “We got the ‘Violence Against Women Act Grant’ from the office of criminal justice services. That program will be up and running fully within, I would say, the next month.”

Blair explained that FCPH is working on being accredited and part of being accredited includes completing a community health assessment.

According to Megan Batson, the emergency preparedness coordinator for FCPH, the previous health assessment that occurred allowed FCPH to identify “substance abuse and misuse, mental health, chronic illness and cancer.”

By partnering, the needed aspects for both of the organizations can be covered simultaneously. Blair explained it is important to have as many people from different areas as possible assist with the survey to understand what is needed. Part of the meeting will include the opportunity for those present to suggest certain questions be added to the survey.

These questions are what the community will have to answer that will help determine a focus area for both organizations.

Once the meeting is concluded, the survey will be edited and made available for people to take.

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

By Jennifer Woods

[email protected]