Community Needs Assesment Survey Seeks More Input from the Public

Every three years health institutions are to give out a Community Needs Assessment Survey, and this time The Harvard Community Development project is now conducting a survey for Revere, Chelsea and Winthrop, according to Jeff Stone, director of the North Suffolk Public Health Collaborative.

When the survey is complete the Community Health Improvement Plan is the next step – with ways to see solutions for all three communities, Winthrop, Revere and Chelsea to collaborate on issues such as obesity, and this year “vaping”. The plan will be submitted to the Attorney General’s office in October.

“Vaping is an epidemic, we can use that word now,” Stone said

Stone suspects respiratory issues are a concern, as is flavored nicotine use.

“This is all very preliminary,” Stone said, “it could turn out differently. We hope to get 1,500 to 2,000 surveys from all three communities. We are also doing focus groups and ‘key informant’ interviews.”

Also included in the interviews are veterans, the mentally ill disabled people, people with substance use disorder, families in poverty, families dealing with hunger, refugees from traumatic circumstances – they need health and social services.

The collaborative plan came together when Chelsea City Manager Tom Amborosino, Revere Mayor Brian Ariggo and former Winthrop Town Manager James McKenna requested how they might collaborate together on these issues and asked that the healthcare providers do the same.

Survey takers hope to finish up by April 7 and there is an incentive. Everyone who gives their telephone or email at the end of the survey will be entered into a drawing of one of six, $50 Market Basket gift cards. You may opt to take the survey anonymously too. The survey began about a month and a health ago.

“It’s a quality of life issue it’s not just health it’s also quality of life issue,” said Stone, adding that all the health and social services providers are involved.

Stone is impressed with the willingness of the major health facilities – Mass General, Cambridge Health Alliance, Beth Israel Deaconess, Melrose Wakefield and East Boston Neighborhood Health – to participate in a totally collaborative setting.

The survey, being conducted by the Harvard-Revere Community Development Project, asks people their relationship to Revere, how often you pass through Beachmont Square, ifthey are familiar with the Suffolk Downs Development and how do they see the future of Beachmont

The City of Boston is undergoing similar survey with the health care providers.

 “We actually have more surveys completed than the city of Boston does at this time relative to our population size,” Stone said, adding that normally hospitals would conduct this survey themselves. To take the survey go to http://www.northsuffolkassessment.org/.

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