Public expression for the Rowan Neighborhood Well being Wants Evaluation – Salisbury Submit

SALISBURY – From now through November, the Rowan County Health Department will be gathering input for its 2021 health needs assessment.

The assessment is conducted every three years and is part of the accreditation process for Novant Health Rowan Medical Center and Rowan County Public Health. The assessment gives local health officials a clear picture of the county’s health needs and how limited resources can be allocated to meet them.

“This is a chance their voice will be heard, and if you’re excited about something that’s going on in this community, it’s a great way to share that information,” said Health Director Alyssa Harris. “We want to hear from everyone”

In addition to some focus groups and a key informant survey, the health department and Novant will primarily collect data using an online survey, which is available at

The last time the survey was conducted was in 2018, when Rowan United Way also took part. At the time, Harris was the Executive Director of Healthy Rowan and was part of the data collection. This survey was conducted by representatives visiting randomly selected homes in neighborhoods across the county.

The results of this survey indicated several priorities that the Department of Health should address, including substance abuse, mental health and healthy lifestyles. The Department of Health, Harris said, used this information in budgeting, resource allocation and program creation.

The survey currently being conducted differs not only in the type of data collection, but is also influenced by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“We know that when we ask these questions, things will be different because of the circumstances people are going through,” said Harris. “We know that the pandemic is on everyone’s lips and has changed the circumstances of people, be it evictions or job losses, or simply simply not generally in the best of health because either their mental or physical health has been compromised.”

Harris expects the poll to reflect that Rowan Countians have been visiting the doctor less often. That could be a big problem, Harris said, because “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure”.

To ensure that the data collected is an accurate representation of the county’s needs, the health department is trying to collect contributions from 1-2% of the population, which is around 2,000 people. There is no limit to the number of Rowan Countians who can take the survey.

“The more the merrier,” said Harris. “We would be very happy to see more people accept it than our goal. That would be unbelievable. “

A higher participation rate will also result in better data and a broader view of the county’s most pressing health issues, Harris said.

In order to capture a cross-section of the district as representative of people from different demographic and socio-economic groups, the Ministry of Health works with providers such as the Community Care Clinic and organizations such as Meals on Wheels Rowan.

The survey is strictly confidential and the participants’ responses remain anonymous.

“We want people to be comfortable and we want them to give the most accurate answer for their situation,” said Harris. “We can’t solve a problem as a community if we don’t know if the problem exists. The questions asked in the survey may be sensitive topics for the people talking about food insecurity or economic hardship, especially when it comes to COVID. We wanted to create an environment in which people would feel safe. There is no name, there is no email attached to the survey when you submit it. “

To give community members an incentive to take part in the survey, the Ministry of Health will take part in a raffle to win a RoCo gift basket.

Once the community health needs assessment is completed on November 30, the data will be submitted to the University of North Carolina School of Public Health for analysis. The results of the assessment are expected to be available in spring or early summer and will be publicly released as a report that the Department of Health will make available in YMCAs and public libraries across the county.

You can find more information about the Community Health Needs Assessment online at

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