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Public needed in health survey

Public needed in health survey

Data goes to longterm goal strategies, department says

Floyd County Public Health is looking for more survey participants to take part in a community health needs assessment, a state-led planning initiative to help communities promote wellness. Results from the 24-question survey will be used to develop a health improvement plan for the next five years, said Floyd County Public Health Administrator Gail Arjes. Previous years’ assessments have helped the county match needs with resources, like parenting classes for community members.

“We’ll take the results and sit down with community partners, stakeholders, and see where we need to set our priorities,” Arjes said.

The broad survey, which Arjes hopes will reach county residents of a wide range of demographics, is also intended to collect regional data from surrounding counties, which may help Floyd County and its partners qualify for more grants. “A lot of grants are not county specific. It just opens up more opportunities,” Arjes said. The survey, available at the county website floydcoia. org, will be open until January when the county will begin analyzing results. That process takes approximately four to six weeks as the county creates an upcoming health improvement plan.

“There’s several questions on there, like how would you rate the overall health of your community?” Arjes said. “We’ll take the results of that, and hopefully HEALTH

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get a good feel of what Floyd County members are thinking.” In the 2011 Floyd County Snapshot, listed online by the Iowa Department of Public Health, 75 percent of the last survey respondents listed obesity as a top need in Floyd and surrounding counties, and 60.7 percent of respondents believed poor parenting skills was one of the top three social issues facing Floyd County; teen pregnancy was also a top concern for 48.1 percent of respondents. In Floyd County’s 2015 Progress Report, the county reported desired goals of decreasing unmarried births from a baseline of 78 to 70, and goals of decreasing the obesity rate of 67 percent to 65 percent. The progress report did not give data on Floyd County’s progress, but did say the county is offering more family planning services, of which a long term plan is being drafted, and that the ISU extension office prep meal courses and other dietary planning resources.

By Kate Hayden [email protected]

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