Holmes health assessment survey is important

Holmes health assessment survey is important

Discovering ways to improve mental health is one of many topics explored in the current Partners for a Healthier Holmes County Community Health Assessment survey that is now available online.


Understanding what Holmes County needs in terms of healthcare and embellishing the county’s ability to attend to the health issues that are most critical in the eyes of the people of the county are at the crux of what Partners for a Healthier Holmes County hopes to determine in creating a community health assessment survey for the public to have a voice in where the health district directs its efforts moving forward.

The PHHC members met earlier this summer to mesh out a survey that would include a variety of health questions. The idea was to present a survey that would allow people to anonymously build an assessment that will give the health district some tools and information to improve the county’s overall health.

Michael Derr, Holmes County Health District commissioner, said the value of this survey can’t be stressed enough, and the more input they can receive from the community, the more it will empower the district and all health organizations to improve their ability to provide healthcare.

“This assessment is just the beginning,” Derr said. “This is our accountability tool to our public. Once we have the assessment completed, we will create an improvement plan. In that plan, we do a monitoring of how we are doing, and we put out quarterly reports on our progress. Our Partners for a Healthier Holmes County get together and determine the areas and topics in which we want to work on as a community, and we will report on where we’re at in the process.

“To me, this is the bread and butter of what we do in the district concerning health issues. It’s all about partnering together because we are here to work for the people of Holmes County and what we can do to make our community as healthy as possible.”

Jen Talkington, who is heading up the PHHC group, said in prior years the assessment has been helpful in discovering ways to improve access of care, discover important details concerning chronic diseases, and people’s concerns over the cost of healthcare, insurance and mental health issues.

One area of concern found during the last survey was the county’s obesity issues, where it is above the norm in obesity rates and diabetes.

“One of the things we hope this survey provides is some details that delve into the root causes of some of our county’s health issues,” Talkington said.

Derr said surveys such as this allow the county to invest in grants that aid in the improvement of health concerns.

By now those people chosen at random by the Holmes County Health Department should have received their Holmes County Health Surveys that were mailed out to the community on Monday, Aug. 28.

The Holmes County commissioners, the Mental Health & Recovery Board of Wayne and Holmes County, and the Holmes County Health Department, in conjunction with the Partners for a Healthier Holmes County, are now in the midst of conducting a community health assessment that will extend through this fall with 1,200 randomly selected Holmes County residents receiving a health survey in the mail.

The surveys should have arrived in the mail in a large brown envelope containing a survey booklet and a pre-addressed, prestamped envelope to return the completed survey. The packet also contains an entry form for a drawing to win one of ten $100 Visa gift cards.

While many people who received their survey via mail have a chance to contribute to a survey that can help the county secure grant dollars and learn more about where the county should focus its health intentions, there is a way for everyone to complete the survey and have their voice heard.

“Our hope is that we can present this survey to as many people as possible because the more information we can get, the more detailed we can get in zeroing in on specific health concerns and the issues that the people of Holmes County feel are important or areas in which people are struggling to maintain a healthy lifestyle,” Talkington said. “This survey is critical to what we as a county can do to improve the quality of our healthcare.”

The online version of the survey is active now. Any Holmes County resident who is at least 18 years of age may complete the survey online at https://holmescountyhealth.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_b90qpheuJgSSfFI.

Those who participate in the online survey also will have the ability to enter the Visa gift card drawing.

The health survey is anonymous and asks participants to answer questions about general health, risk and protective health factors, and access to healthcare. All answers are confidential, and only group results will be analyzed and reported on. The results of these surveys are important in helping local agencies to identify key health problems and needs of Holmes County residents. The survey results will be published in early 2024.

The Partners for a Healthier Holmes County thanks all those in advance for taking the time to help with this project. For questions about the survey, call or email Talkington at the Holmes County Health Department at 330-674-5035 or jtalkington@holmeshealth.org.

According to Talkington, there will be various Facebook posts throughout the process on the Holmes County Health Department page.

Survey collection will end in mid-October, and once the data has been analyzed, the data will be discussed. The hope is these surveys will give the health district some guidelines and direction as to what is important to the people of Holmes County when it comes to health, as well as areas where the county can improve its health habits.

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