Survey will help identify Saline County’s health needs

BENTON — In Saline County, the Health Statistics Branch in the Arkansas Department of Health will be working with local officials in the area to conduct an adult health survey by telephone to determine the existence of these problems in our community.

A sample of Saline County residents will be selected to participate in the County Adult Health Survey, according to Eydie Abercrombie, Saline County Local Health Unit Administrator and the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) representative for the Saline County Hometown Health Coalition.[more]

“We’re really excited about this survey,” she said. “We’d like to encourage everyone who is contacted for the survey to complete it. It’s important to know the health problems and needs of the people in our county. Survey results will help us get grant money to provide needed health services and programs and to fine tune the health services we already provide.”

Each year in Arkansas, about 5,000 randomly-selected adults answer questions on a statewide adult health survey called the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System Survey (BRFSS) conducted locally under the guidance of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta. While that is a sufficient sample to draw conclusions about the health and behaviors of Arkansans in general, it’s too small a sample to draw meaningful conclusions about the residents of a particular county or area. That’s why the ADH and the Hometown Health Coalitions and their partners obtain funding to conduct individual county surveys. These surveys will provide information about the personal health behaviors and problems of residents in these counties that can be used by community leaders to determine what the health problems of the residents are and what needs to be done to help correct those problems.

“All surveys are confidential. Names will be erased from the records,” said Mary McGehee, Section Chief for the Survey Unit at the ADH’s’ Health Statistics Branch. “Your information can never be traced to you.”

The telephone survey will be conducted by professionals at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock’s Institute of Government. The Health Statistics Branch, ADH, will tabulate results from the survey under the supervision of Drs. Mary McGehee and John Senner. The Arkansas Health Statistics Branch will also provide technical assistance in the publication of the data. Because the questions asked in the county health survey are identical to those asked in the CDC’s statewide and national BRFSS survey, the results of each local survey can be compared to the results of other local surveys as well as the state and national surveys.

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