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Residents asked to shape next five years of Summit County health policy

Summit County Health Department

Summit County health officials are conducting what they call their “most important” survey: the community health assessment.

Local health officials say they have plenty of national- and state-level data to shape policy, but the most critical data comes from Summit County residents.

That’s why the Summit County Health Department conducts its community health assessment every three to five years.

“This is to assess what the priorities and concerns regarding health are in the community,” Summit County Deputy Health Director Kendra Babitz said. “This will influence what we do next year for our ‘Community Health Improvement Plan,’ and that will affect the next five years of planning for our programs and services.”

The survey asks about more than physical health. It touches on social and economic factors that influence health too.

The health department also wants to learn how the environment and climate change are affecting residents’ health and identify any gaps in services.

Summit County Health Director Phil Bondurant said it’s “the most important” survey his department conducts.

“This is the first one that we've done post-COVID,” he added. “We had completed one right before we went into the pandemic, so we’ll have some pre- and post-data on how the pandemic may have affected us locally.”

The survey opened in May and runs until November. Babitz said about 300 of the county’s 43,000 residents have already responded.

The health department hopes for about 1,000 respondents and would like to boost participation among Latino residents.

The 10-minute survey is available in both English and Spanish online at summitcountyhealth.org/cha24.