By JIMMY LAWTON
St. Lawrence County residents are being asked to take an online survey that could help identify regional health needs and lead to state and federal funding to support local programs.
The survey can be found at www.surveymonkey.com/s/slcha as well as at the St. Lawrence Health Initiative website, www.gethealthyslc.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=224:chna-detail&catid=31:general.
Executive Director Ruth Fishbecks said the survey will be available through the end of October, or possibly longer, if the initiative has not reached its goal of 800 to 900 participants.
"We still need a couple hundred more to go," she said.
Fishbeck said the survey is an important tool for identifying perceived health problems and healthcare related issues faced by residents of St. Lawrence County.
She said information from the survey will be used to develop a county-wide health improvement plan and will provide information that will help bring grant money into the county.
Fishbeck said the survey is anonymous.
"The survey does not ask for your name or address, only your zip code so we can identify needs specific to certain parts of the county," she said.
Fishbeck said the Health Initiative partners with Canton-Potsdam Hospital, Claxton-Hepburn Medical Center, Clifton-Fine Hospital, E.J. Noble Hospital, Massena Memorial Hospital and the St. Lawrence County Public Health Department in order to maximize its effectiveness in providing services.
"We work closely together to make sure we aren't duplicating services so we can meet needs for people throughout the county," she said. “We don’t compete with each other.”
She said the survey results will be shared with other organizations as well.
“All this information is gathered so that we can offer better services to the community,” she said.
Fishebeck said the Health Initiative does not receive money from the county or its partners and that the majority of its funding is grant based.
The survey focuses not only on individual questions regarding one’s health, but also access to care, costs for care and other issues faced by the county residents.
“We want this information so we can address the problems.” she said.
For more information on the survey or to find out more about the St. Lawrence County Health Initiative visit www.gethealthyslc.org