Along with Sampson County’s Health Department and SRMC, there are a number of local organizations, as well as independent community members, that are supplementing the effort. Assisting with the health assessment process are the Department of Aging, Cooperative Extension, Head Start, CommWell Health Services, the Partnership for Children, U-Care, the Department of Social Services, and the Coharie Intra Tribal Council.
As early as February, a Community Health Assessment Steering Committee began meeting regularly in preparation for the project. Representatives from the agencies and organizations listed above make up this committee. Together, this team discussed the scope of the project and indentified specific goals and priorities they hope to gain from this effort.
“We welcome the opportunity to work with other agencies on this initiative that is so important for both the hospital and the health department,” said David Masterson, CEO of SRMC. “It’s this kind of community collaboration that will help us identify the most critical healthcare needs in our county and work together to allocate resources appropriately.”
A key part of the assessment is a survey that will serve as the primary data collection. The survey is aimed at collecting data that will be representative of Sampson County’s population. Surveys are needed from all demographic groups to make the assessment both accurate and successful.
“The survey is designed to tell us what is going on in the community so we can develop programs in response. It will allow us to help address the real needs,” said Veronica Murphy, health educator for Sampson County’s Health Department.
“The last health assessment conducted in our county proved to be a valuable planning tool for all of us, not only dealing with public health but throughout our community,” commented Wanda Robinson, director of Sampson County Health Department. “After analyzing data and reviewing results from the previous health assessment, the Health Department and a number of other organizations throughout the county created a plan to target efforts at areas of great concern.”
Led by the Health Department and Sampson County’s Partnership for Healthy Carolinians, new initiatives were directed at improving the overall health of the community by addressing issues such as heart disease, diabetes and obesity.
It is imperative that at least 500 surveys be completed and turned in for this year’s assessment. The entire survey takes about 15-20 minutes to complete. Participants who choose to take the survey will answer questions dealing with health related topics such as diet/nutrition, exercise, tobacco use, alcohol consumption, access to care, etc.
“We encourage community members to participate in the survey,” stressed Amber Cava, director of marketing and community relations at SRMC. “These surveys are a valuable part of the assessment, and community cooperation and input is crucial. We are appreciative of all individuals who take the time to complete the survey.”
Once survey data is compiled, health and service organizations will meet to discuss problems pointed out by the data and develop a Sampson County community health plan. In addition to helping health care providers like Sampson County’s Health Department and SRMC plan for new health care services, the collected information can then be used by the health district and other agencies in their justifications and requests for grants and other funding.
The survey will be conducted during the month of July and will be available to citizens of Sampson County in many different locations. Surveys will be distributed within the area at community events, senior nutrition sites, churches, and civic clubs, just to name a few. Surveys are also available for pick-up at Sampson County’s Health Department, Sampson Regional Medical Center (SRMC), CommWell Health Services, The Center for Health + Wellness, the Partnership for Children, and all other partnering agencies.
Access to an online version of the survey will soon be available at any of the following websites: www.SampsonRMC.org/CHA, www.sampsonnc.com, and www.scpfhc.org. For more information on Sampson County’s Community Health Assessment, contact Veronica Murphy at 910-592-1131 Ext. 4239 or Amber Cava at 910-596-5422.