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Survey seeks area residents' views about Calhoun County health-care needs

Calhoun County adult residents are being asked to participate in a survey to determine regional health needs.

The online survey – part of the ongoing Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) – stems from a partnership among Bronson Healthcare, Oaklawn, CareWell Services Southwest (Area Agency on Aging) and the Calhoun County Public Health Department, with support from the Coordinating Council and Population Health Alliance.

Those who wish to complete the survey may find it at www.research.net/r/CalhounCoHealth. 

Survey responses are being gathered through Aug. 29 and are made voluntarily and anonymously. Participants must be 18 years old or older to complete the survey, which takes approximately 15 minutes to complete. 

Under guidelines established by the Affordable Care Act, nonprofit hospitals and other community organizations have conducted similar assessments every two to three years, allowing health-care leaders to develop a snapshot of major local needs. 

“Our goal is to collaborate on an inclusive assessment of community health,” said Nicole DuPont, who is director of strategic development for Summit Pointe, Calhoun County Community Mental Health Authority, and operations lead for The Coordinating Council. 

“This survey collects community data to illuminate the most pressing health needs of the community and identify any gaps in services and health inequities,” DuPont said. Data collected can be used to maximize resources and develop a comprehensive action plan for improving health countywide, she said. 

Survey results are expected to be made available and shared broadly in the community within the coming year. 

DuPont said the assessment’s methodology provides insights for health-care leaders to develop measurable strategies designed to address the social determinants of health and attain more equitable outcomes. 

“Critical to this process is the community voice, which uplifts concerns shared by residents about their own health and the places where they work and live,” she said.

“After the survey is concluded, the work doesn’t end,” said Irene Johnston, MSN-RN, who serves as Oaklawn’s director of quality, safety and risk. “Oaklawn and other Calhoun County health-care organizations go to work to try to meet the needs that are identified.” 

For example, she said, a similar past survey helped to determine that an urgent-care clinic was a significant need in the Albion community. Subsequently, Oaklawn Express Care was established in early 2019. 

Such a result illustrates an important aspect of the assessment process, which is intended to prioritize and magnify the needs of vulnerable populations, DuPont said.

“This unique collaboration allows us to approach the work in a more cohesive fashion, leveraging collective resources with community partners, in order to reimagine how to achieve better health outcomes,” she said.