Catawba County News
5 Things to Know about the CHA
Published: August 14, 2019
5 Things to Know About the Community Health Assessment
The Community Health Assessment (CHA) rolls around every three years and is currently underway. The CHA is a way to gauge the community’s current health and evaluate the health behaviors, resources and needs that may affect health in the future. Catawba County Public Health Community Engagement Specialist Emily Killian shares 5 things you need to know about it.
1. Community involvement is integral to the CHA.
Without community input, there is no assessment. Early in the process, a leadership team of leaders from 40-plus community groups and care providers convenes. Then, community input is solicited through listening sessions and the Community Health Opinion Survey. Once data is compiled, additional sessions are scheduled to gather more feedback on what the health priorities should be. These priorities are what all of the contributing organizations will be working to improve over the following three years.
2. The survey is convenient and anonymous.
The Community Health Opinion Survey is made up of a series of questions and takes less than 15 minutes to complete. Responses are gathered and combined from a minimum of 2,000 community members. Although some of the questions may feel personal, all survey responses are anonymous. Go to https://www.catawbacountync.gov/county-services/public-health/ to take the survey online or any Catawba County Library System location to take it in person. The deadline for taking the survey is September 1.
3. The CHA helps establish local health priorities.
Survey results, community input and collected data are all used to determine the top three local health issues, also known as our health priorities, for the next three years. This information gives local hospitals, Public Health, medical providers and others the ability to prepare for and address health-related issues that are of concern in our community.
4. The assessment doesn’t just ask about health.
When taking the survey, you might ask yourself, ‘Why are they asking me about my income?’ or ‘Why are they asking whether I walk or drive to work?’ In addition to direct questions about health, the CHA survey asks questions about factors that affect access to healthcare, such as income and transportation, to gain a better understanding of how to overcome those barriers, and asks questions about health behaviors and adverse childhood experiences, which can manifest later in life as chronic medical conditions.
5. Health priorities guide the work of LiveWell Catawba.
LiveWell Catawba works closely with Public Health and other groups across the county. The group’s vision is to work toward a healthier community and enhanced quality of life for all people in Catawba County. Through the process, LiveWell collaborates with community partners to focus on the three main priorities identified by the CHA. From the most recent CHA, which was conducted in 2015, the community’s top three priorities were healthy eating, active living, and preventing chronic disease.