Health Needs Survey Underway

Respondents will be asked their opinions on health in their community.


Frederick, Md (KM). Residents are being asked to take part in a health needs survey. It’s being conducted by the Frederick County Health Department, and the Frederick Regional Health System, and  is available on line at the Health Department’s website (\health). Respondents can also use the county’s social media platforms to take part in the survey. For those who don’t have access a computer, they can go to local public libraries and use their computers.

“We’re really just looking at getting the public’s idea of the perceptions of health; what do they think makes a healthy community; and getting some information about if they doing some of the healthy practices such as eating right and exercising; and if not, why not,” says Rissah Watkins, Director of the Office of Planning, Assessment and Communication at the Health Department..

She says the survey will ask about 20 questions, such as “what do you think makes a healthy community? What do you think are some of the health issues that are really important in your community,” Watkins says. “We also get into personal health a little bit, and ask people when they’re sick, where do they go for health care. How would they rate their own personal health ? What types of major stressers do people have? Just to give an idea of the health in the community over all.”

The survey will be in both English and Spanish. “We definitely want to hear from all members of our community, including our Spanish speakers. So we have the entire survey written out in Spanish. The links on Facebook and Twitter and everything are available in Spanish for our Spanish speaking population. And we really are interested in hearing from them and everyone else. So we try to make it as easy as possible,” says Watkins.

The deadline to complete the survey is August 31st.

Watkins says the results from this survey will be used to identify health priorities in the community. “We look at all of the information we have about of the health of our community as a whole, and we decide what are the things we really want to prioritize,” she says. “And those things will become the priority for the next three years for community effort. And that’s called our local health improvement plan.”

`The Frederick County Health Care Coalition has chosen its priorities from a survey taken a few years earlier. They are behavioral health, senior citizen issues, and adverse childhood experiences. Work groups have been established for each of these topics. These panels will present a draft version of their plans which will be available to the public by 2019.


By Kevin McManus