THE MAKING OF THE DURHAM COUNTY HEALTH ASSESSMENT I N PA RT N E R S H I P W I T H
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very three years, the Durham County Health Assessment is conducted by the Durham County Department of Public Health (DCoDPH) in collaboration with the Partnership for a Healthy Durham and Duke Health. The last assessment – which identifies the county’s top health priorities, aiding them in developing strategies to address these problems in the community – was completed in 2017, and a new assessment is currently in progress. “The work that we do is really rooted in what the community tells us,” says Marissa Mortiboy, coordinator for Partnership for a Healthy Durham. “[We] really listen to what the community sees, [and] how they want things to be addressed.”
support to conduct the surveys and listening sessions, and Duke Health faculty and staff contribute to writing and reviewing the report. According to DCoDPH Epidemiologist Denver Jameson, the process takes about two-and-a-half years to complete. However, the health department is also required to release a State of the County Health Report during each of the interim years, which includes updating statistics from the previous assessment and providing progress on the top five health priorities.
The Community Health Assessment is comprised of three phases: getting people to take the survey, collecting data from community listening sessions and then creating action plans based on those results. Using DCoDPH is required to census data and Geospatial Denver Jameson (far right) gives a briefing to CHA survey volunteers complete a community Information Systems (GIS) before they go out for the day. health assessment every software, the anonymous four years for their state survey randomly selects two accreditation. Under the Federal Patient Protection and samples of households in Durham County. While the first Affordable Care Act, Duke Health is required to conduct an sample takes into account all households in the county, assessment every three years to maintain their nonprofit the second sample selects households in census blocks status. The collaboration between the organizations, which with more than 50% Latino or Hispanic residents. In the dates back decades, allows for a pooling of resources to past two cycles, there were roughly 200 people surveyed ensure a comprehensive, accurate report that represents in each of the samples. “This time, we increased the the Durham community. Partnership for a Healthy sample size for the countywide sample up to 420 people,” Durham coordinates the report. DCoDPH takes the lead Denver says. “And then we surveyed an additional 190 on coordinating the survey and listening sessions as well people for the Latino and Hispanic residents survey. By as writing the report (Partnership for a Healthy Durham increasing our sample size, we were able to just aggregate members also contribute significantly to the writing of our data by a number of different variables. It gives us a the report) while Duke contributes funding and staffing lot more insight into what’s happening in our community.”
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