CLARK COUNTY — Citizens interested in sharing their thoughts on community health now have an opportunity to do just that.
Clark Memorial Health is seeking input from Clark County residents in the form of a Community Health Needs Assessment survey. The hospital previously conducted assessments twice before, first in 2013 and again in 2015.
Those earlier surveys helped identify where improvements could be made. Community Outreach Manager Alicia Rousseau said Clark Memorial then adjusted accordingly to the findings.
One of the most pressing issues identified was access to care, Rousseau said.
"That is understanding how to navigate health insurance and services," she said. "We hosted some on-site insurance navigation programs for folks who were new to Medicaid or HIP. We had information on where you could go in the community. We just helped with services in general, like finding a physician, getting vaccinations and how to schedule check-ups.”
Another area in need of additional focus was increased visibility of resources for chronic conditions, mental health and addiction services, and services for low-income families.
"We put together a resource directory that was found online and some other locations, like other physician offices," Rousseau said.
Now, Clark Memorial is proceeding with another effort to determine how to best utilize its resources. A release from the hospital states that the results of the ongoing assessment will help "set priorities in screenings and educational opportunities," along with the development of programs aimed at improving overall community health.
"We want to continue doing that so that we can better understand who our community is, what their needs are, and how we can tailor our services to meet those needs," Rousseau said.
The survey takes about 15 minutes to complete. Rather than being open-ended, the questions are targeted.
"We take info about demographics to learn who our community is," Rousseau said. "It asks question about how you perceive your own health, how you view the health of your community, how available resources are for health issues, and the availability of resources for shelter, food and nutrition and activities to keep our community healthy."
Those interested in taking the survey can find it online, but physical copies can be mailed out by request. Physical copies will also be placed in several locations, including the YMCA and the Charlestown Senior Citizen Center.
Respondents have a chance to win a $5 gift card to Starbucks.
Submissions will be accepted until Nov. 4.