A community needs and health assessment survey is now live and those who live and/or work in Fayette County are encouraged to fill it out to help determine future possibilities.
There are two different surveys — one is for the general public while the second is aimed at business owners.
The surveys are available to fill out online. There will also be multiple opportunities to fill them out on paper. The final day the surveys will be collected is May 7.
As previously reported, there is typically a survey through the Community Action Commission (CAC) of Fayette County once every three years as well as a health survey through Fayette County Public Health (FCPH).
This year, the two organizations have chosen to partner in order to get the information they need while reducing redundancy. That information will assist both organizations in knowing where to focus their efforts and attention in the coming years. It will also help CAC to meet “Community Services Block Grant” funding standards and FCPH to meet accreditation standards.
In the previous CAC survey, taken in 2017, it was determined that the top three areas of concern involved substance abuse, the prevention of substance abuse, and domestic violence.
Following that survey, there were steps taken and grants applied to help with those three areas, including the implementation of a Drug-free Communities Program and a World Health Opioid Program. There was also a “Violence Against Women” grant obtained, which will soon allow a domestic violence program to begin in the community.
The previous health survey taken by FCPH allowed the organization to identify the main areas of concern as substance abuse and misuse, mental health, chronic illness, and cancer, according to Megan Batson, the emergency preparedness coordinator for FCPH.
As the newly-partnered survey comes to a close in May, there will be a few focus groups occurring.
Christina Blair, a planner with the CAC, explained via email that “focus groups will be utilized to gather qualitative data on the causes and conditions of poverty in our community, perceptions of Community Action as an agency, and will actually build upon the results of the surveys. The survey responses we receive will be reviewed and our consultant will dig deeper to more fully understand the issues.”
On Tuesday, several community members and a few elected officials attended a meeting held at FCPH to provide feedback on the survey before it went live. During the meeting, it was made clear that as many community members as possible are desired to take the survey so the community can be better assisted.
“Both the health department and Community Action rely heavily on the survey results to drive our services and efforts over the next three years,” wrote Blair. “For our agency (CAC), that means we really listen to our county’s residents so we can make real improvements in the lives of the people we serve.”
The survey will also be available during this year’s community health fair.
Community members can access the survey on the public access computers at Carnegie Public Library, 127 S. North St. in Washington C.H., Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. or Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Reach Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355 or on Twitter @JennMWoods.