Essex County Health Department seeks input on local health needs | News, Sports, Jobs

Essex County Health Department seeks input on local health needs | News, Sports, Jobs

ELIZABETHTOWN — The Essex County Health Department is inviting community members to participate in a community health needs assessment survey. Results from the survey will guide the work of the department and its healthcare partners as they aim to improve the health of Essex County residents.

“We want to know what challenges our neighbors face when trying to get and stay healthy,” said Essex County Public Health Director Linda Beers. “The more people we hear from, the better we will understand the root causes of the health issues in our communities and the more likely we will be successful in developing effective strategies to address these causes.”

Participation in the survey is voluntary and anonymous, according to the department. Community members can access the secure online survey through the end of May at Paper copies are available at local libraries and at ECHD beginning in April. Paper copies can also be requested by calling the health department at 518-873-3500.

The community health assessment process, led in partnership with Saranac Lake’s Adirondack Health and Elizabethtown Community Hospital, will inform the next Essex County Community Health Improvement Plan. The plan, due out late this year, identifies health priorities and interventions that ECHD, AH, ECH and other healthcare organizations will implement to improve the overall health of the community.

“Everyone can participate in the community health planning process,” said Beers. “The health of our community is everyone’s responsibility. Your voice matters and will inform our shared priorities for the next three years.”

The planning process takes place every three years and has guided initiatives like the Essex County Well Fed program, which helped make local produce more accessible to community members living with or at risk of developing chronic disease. More than 350 community members participated in the 2019 survey and identified substance abuse, access to healthcare, chronic diseases, and issues relating to aging as the top health challenges in the county.

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