To help get a snapshot of the health of Lucas County residents of all ages, randomly selected adults and parents of young children will receive surveys on a variety of topics in the mail in early 2020. The anonymous surveys ask questions about general physical health, mental health, nutrition, exercise, living conditions and other topics as part of a project commissioned every three years by the Healthy Lucas County coalition of community health improvement organizations.
Randomly selected adults and parents of children ages 11 and younger are asked to complete the survey – which will be mailed in green envelopes – and return them in the self-addressed envelope, said Sister Dorothy Thum, Chair of the Healthy Lucas County Executive Committee.
“These surveys are so important to help identify the health-related needs and concerns that Lucas County residents have,” said Sister Dorothy, who represents Mercy Health on the Healthy Lucas County Executive Committee. “Healthy Lucas County member organizations are working to improve our community’s health, and that starts with regularly taking a look at what our biggest challenges are.”
As part of the project, students ages 12 to 18 were randomly surveyed in participating Lucas County school districts in late 2019.
Results from the anonymous surveys of Lucas County adults, school students and parents of young children will be released in a community health assessment report in late 2020. The assessment’s findings are used extensively for community planning, organizational planning and grant writing.
Funding For Programs
In the last five years alone, Healthy Lucas County Executive Committee member organizations have received more than $20 million in grant funding through proposals that used community health assessment data.
Connecting Kids to Meals is one Healthy Lucas County member organization that has received grant funding through proposals that use community health assessment data. The nonprofit organization provides snacks and meals at 62 partner sites, including Jones Leadership Academy.
Joanna White, Jones Leadership Academy’s PTO President, said parents and staff can be assured that students are eating three times a day now that Connecting Kids to Meals provides afterschool meals. Previously, Mrs. White made 50 to 75 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for athletes after school daily, and other students weren’t getting anything.
“We have children who go home and come back to school to eat,” said Mrs. White, adding other children in the neighborhood and athletes visiting from other schools also can get a meal.
“If they’re coming here every day to eat, obviously there’s no food at home for them to eat.”
Community Health Improvement
Questions in the surveys help the Healthy Lucas County coalition determine what the community’s biggest needs are. Survey responses are anonymous, so there is no way anyone’s answers can be linked to them, said Erika D. White, Vice Chair of the Healthy Lucas County Executive Committee.
“Healthy Lucas County members have programs that help pregnant women have healthy babies, students have safer routes to walk and bike to school, adults be better able to manage diabetes and other chronic conditions, and other Lucas County residents get resources to improve their health and well-being,” said Ms. White, who represents CWA Local 4319 and NAACP 3204 on the Healthy Lucas County Executive Committee.
Healthy Lucas County uses survey findings to help determine priorities and action steps for a three-year community health improvement plan. The coalition has performed a community health assessment since 1999.
This Highlights & Trends booklet from Healthy Lucas County’s last community health assessment provides information on the type of data the coalition collects.