Guest Column | Make Your Voice Heard Through Health Survey – Salinas Valley Tribune

Throughout the pandemic, collaboration has become a key element in the daily fight against the virus. It has allowed Monterey County health care organizations, government agencies, and nonprofits to work together to better manage not only the care but also the dissemination of vital information to help educate community members in distress.

In addition, it provided coordinated education, combined resources, and helped streamline vaccination and testing protocols.

Given this, it was a natural step to continue with these alliances to better coordinate resources and efforts to move forward for the good of the community.

The newly created Monterey County Health Needs Collaborative is a partnership between Mee Memorial Healthcare System, Monterey Peninsula Community Hospital, Salinas Valley Memorial Healthcare System, Nativity, the Monterey County Department of Health and United Way Monterey County.

Non-profit hospitals, such as Mee Memorial, must conduct a community health needs assessment every three years, and health departments are required to conduct a health assessment every five years. Typically, most other community organizations conduct the assessment and address the issues independently.

This new coalition has initiated an unprecedented assessment of the health needs of our diverse region. It is now conducting crucial public surveys to obtain anonymous and confidential health, social and economic data. The results will provide a plan for the next three years to determine health programs, strategies, and resource allocation.

I cannot underestimate the importance of the role of the community in this endeavor. In order to identify, address and improve our collective health and well-being more effectively, it is necessary for people from all walks of life and corners of our region to participate. This will provide us with a clearer, more equitable path.

I urge all members of the community to participate in the confidential 10-minute online survey here. It is fast, painless, and vital to the future of healthcare.

Hospitals need to go beyond traditional care to better identify the preventive and clinical services they need most. This extends to providing better access to care in places where it can have a real impact. Our rural residents in the south of the county often find barriers to proper health care. Now is the time for anyone facing barriers to inform decision makers about the best strategy for future health initiatives.

Professional Research Consultants, a public opinion research consultant, will also conduct bilingual telephone and online surveys for our residents, so that everyone has a voice.

This is an opportunity to show how the public can play a key role in helping shape the future and begin removing those barriers to quality care.

Once the published assessment is completed, community organizations can use it for everything from planning to reporting health outcomes. Community Health Needs Collaborative partners will be able to work from the same data set and with the same assessment tools to identify trends and major health issues. Other county organizations and partners may also work individually and collectively to create or improve programs to meet the health needs of the community.

“The more we know about the unmet health needs of our communities, the more hospitals, public health officials and local organizations can do to make the Monterey region a better place to live for all,” said Jo Coffaro, Regional Vice President of Hospital Council Northern and Central California. “Community Health Needs Assessment is a vital tool in identifying Monterey County’s major health issues, and our collaborative partnership will lead to a comprehensive and coordinated effort to improve the health and well-being of our region.”

Previous efforts by community health needs assessments have targeted funding, resources, and programs to improve access to health care and provide more programs to address treatable health conditions, such as diabetes and heart disease.

“The Monterey County Department of Health is excited about how this collaborative assessment process has provided another way to work together to address the identified health needs in our communities,” said Elsa Jimenez, Monterey County Director of Health Services. “Working together will make Monterey County an even healthier place to live, work and play.”

I can’t think of anything more important than that. To access the survey or to learn more about this unique collaboration, visit healthymontereycounty.org.

Guest Column | Make Your Voice Heard Through Health Survey – Salinas Valley Tribune Source link Guest Column | Make Your Voice Heard Through Health Survey – Salinas Valley Tribune

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