The Westchester County Department of Health, and six other health departments in the Hudson Valley have teamed up, along with Siena College in Loudonville, NY, to launch a health survey. The Westchester County Department of Health is reaching out to you, asking that you help increase the number of responses received to this Community Health Assessment survey. Because of the overarching value of the expected survey results to the work we collectively do, the DOH is asking you to share this survey with everyone in your circle. They need to hear from as many people, groups, age brackets, and zip codes as possible.
Available in English and Spanish online and hard copy from now through June 11, the anonymous survey seeks to identify the top priority health issues for Westchester residents and their community, the most needed services and the largest obstacles that prevent access to care. The survey also asks questions that seek to assess the impact of COVID-19 on the health and well-being of residents.
“Your voice matters. In order to best serve you, our County Health Department needs public input about the health issues that concern you most as Westchester County residents,” Westchester County Executive George Latimer shares with Black Westchester. “We want to be as inclusive as possible, so I am encouraging everyone to please take this survey if you can.”
As you may know, the NYS Department of Health has had a Prevention Agenda program in place for the past decade. The Prevention Agenda is designed to improve health and behavioral health outcomes for residents throughout the State. This program requires each county in NY to conduct a Community Health Assessment (CHA), every three years. Many of the poor health and behavioral outcomes identified in the CHA are closely associated with what are known as “the social determinants of health”. Because Covid-19 has likely intensified these factors, it is critical that we survey Westchester County residents who may be experiencing these conditions to ensure we include their experiences and perceptions.
“Your participation can help shape the ways that the Health Department serves our communities. Community priorities change and the results of this survey will help us adapt to meet those changing needs,” shares Westchester County Commissioner of Health Sherlita Amler, MD.
The survey will be distributed via email to a diverse range of community groups and will be available on paper and through a QR code on fliers placed in public locations such as local libraries, hospitals, clinics and County offices. Health Department staff also will be onsite at some locations to help promote the survey.
Survey results, available this fall, will be used by the County Health Department to help drive its community service agenda for the next three years. Known as a Community Health Needs Assessment, the survey is required by the State Health Department and is an element in the Community Health Improvement Plan, which all local health departments must develop. The state requires the County to select two priorities, one of which must address health inequities.
PLEASE HELP the DOH to promote the anonymous survey and to encourage everyone 18 years and older to participate. They have included a toolkit that contains:
- The survey link, which can be found at https://tinyurl.com/hvscri
- Printable flyers with a QR code that links directly to the online survey. The flyers can be printed for display and/or shared via social media accounts.
- Sample social media messages and messages for community members that you can use to promote the survey.
- Printable paper copies of the survey (English and Spanish). Department of Health staff are available to deliver and pick up printed copies of the paper survey from your site. Please contact Elissa Cestone at 914-995-7499 or firstname.lastname@example.org to make arrangements.
- Department of Health bilingual staff are also available to be on site to help administer the survey among your site’s staff/clientele/visitors. Please contact Elissa Cestone at 914-995-7499 or email@example.com to schedule a date and time.
If you have any other questions regarding the survey, please contact Marie Roth at firstname.lastname@example.org or 914-995-5809.
AJ Woodson is the Editor-In-Chief of Black Westchester and Co-Owner of Urban Soul Media Group, the parent company, Host & Producer of the People Before Politics Radio Show. AJ is a Father, Brother, An Author, Journalism Fellow (Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism), Hip-Hop Artist - one third of the legendary underground rap group JVC FORCE known for the single Strong Island, Radio Personality, Hip-Hop Historian, Documentarian, Activist, Criminal Justice Advocate and Freelance Journalist whose byline has appeared in several print publications and online sites including The Source, Vibe, the Village Voice, Upscale, Sonicnet.com, Launch.com, Rolling Out Newspaper, Daily Challenge Newspaper, Spiritual Minded Magazine, Word Up! Magazine, On The Go Magazine and several others.