Rowan County United Way to begin needs assessment survey

Rowan County United Way to begin needs assessment survey

SALISBURY, NC (WBTV) - In order to learn more about the urgent concerns of health and human services in our area, Rowan County United Way has begun the process of a community opinion survey with the training of surveyors.

As the second step in the Community Health Needs Assessment, the survey will help in determining not only how individuals feel about their own health, but the issues relating to barriers in accessing services, gaps in the system, or possible strengths that can be identified in the system as well.

Surveyors were quick to get started after training, and Julia Kimmel, a volunteer from UNC Chapel Hill, expressed her excitement for the opportunity by stating, "I'm hoping that this will expand our reach so that we can get accurate information on what the people's wants are in our community. I believe it will be the best one yet".

Thanks to the leadership of Matthew Simon and Erin Magee from the North Carolina Gillings Institute for Public Health, the methods used regarding the survey are carefully selected to give the greatest chance of hearing what the community identifies as problems that need to be addressed.

The choice to perform a door-to-door interview will give the best quality data that will be inclusive of the community as a whole, and with few biases, it will receive a 60 to 80% response rate in comparison to fewer than 20% from web-based or phone surveys. Another technique implemented is cluster sampling, which consists of a random selection of locations.

Over the next two weeks, volunteers will continue canvassing 30 chosen neighborhoods that will reach throughout Rowan County so there will be a close representation of our community, while reducing travel time for surveyors.

In addition to these approaches, the use of tablets in the survey will obtains results more quickly and enable faster decision-making. It also comes with higher answering rates by creating innovative questioning methods through the tablet's capabilities. Once the data is collected, the results will assist in making the correct decisions when working towards an action plan.

Surveyors will be working through May 26.

Having local participants helps in giving stakeholders and community leaders the information that is important for the Needs Assessment process. With this survey, agencies will be able to address areas of concern regarding health and human services. This ultimately will make Rowan County a better place for its citizens.

Partners for the Needs Assessment include Novant, Rowan County Health Department and Healthy Rowan.

For any questions or concerns about the survey, please call 704-633-1802.

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