The Chatham Health Alliance, in partnership with the Chatham County Public Health Department, Chatham Hospital, and numerous community organizations, has begun its 2018 Community Assessment process. The Community Assessment, which has its roots in the Community Health Assessment conducted in 2014, yields important and timely information about the health needs and preferences of Chatham County residents. This assessment will consider an array of factors that affect health and well-being, such as traditional metrics like access to care and underlying issues, such as economic opportunity and housing.
“With the 2018 Community Assessment, Chatham County is taking a new approach to an established process,” noted Health Director Layton Long. “This comprehensive view of the county and its residents will help to inform not only our own efforts, but also those of the many partners with whom we work on a daily basis. It is these partners who make the Community Assessment possible, and the same partners who will be instrumental in creating positive change in the community based on the assessment’s findings.”
There are many ways residents can participate in the Community Assessment process.
- SURVEY: A survey will be mailed to randomly selected county residents in February. “If you receive the survey, we appreciate you taking the time to respond,” added Long. “We want to hear about your access to health services, your opinions and your needs.”
- FOLLOW UP: Beginning in March, volunteers with the Chatham Health Alliance will follow up in person with residents who received a survey and did not respond.
- FOCUS GROUPS & COMMUNITY CONVERSATIONS: In addition to the surveys, the county will convene several ocus groups and community conversations over the next several months where residents will have the opportunity to talk about the issues that are most important to their communities. Information about these conversations will be posted on the Community Assessment’s website, www.chathamtalks.org. This website will also feature questions residents can respond to online.
Later this year, staff will put together the findings from the survey, focus groups, community conversations, website responses and data from additional sources. Based on these findings, the Chatham Health Alliance will prioritize focus areas for the next three years.
If you would like to assist with this process and work to improve quality of life in Chatham County, the Chatham Health Alliance always welcomes new members.
The Chatham Health Alliance was established in March 2015 as an extension of the 2014 Community Health Assessment Steering Committee. The Alliance is a collaborative of local professionals and residents working together to improve health in Chatham County. The Alliance brings together both traditional and nontraditional partners to work on issues affecting health in Chatham County, with a focus on the health priorities identified in the Community Health Assessment: obesity, access to mental health services, and access to healthcare. To learn more about the Chatham Health Alliance, visit www.chathamhealthalliancenc.org.