Survey will form basis for wellness plan for area

CHAMPAIGN — If you'd like to have a voice in the priorities being set for health and wellness in Champaign County, here's your chance.

The Champaign-Urbana Public Health District, the Champaign County Regional Planning Commission, the United Way of Champaign County, Carle and Presence Covenant Medical Center are inviting the public to participate in a health and wellness survey that will be used to create a three-year plan for the community.

The survey was last done in 2009, and it identified four main areas of concern: obesity, violence prevention, unintentional-injury prevention and improved access to care, according to public health Administrator Julie Pryde.

Pryde said the survey had been done every five years by public health, and now will be done every three years in cooperation with the other local organizations.

If you take the survey, expect to be asked such questions as: How many days last month was your physical and mental health not good? How much do you exercise? How important are various health and neighborhood safety issues to you?

Plus, you'll be asked to rate factors such as affordable housing, ability to find health care and afford your basic needs as strengths or threats in Champaign County.

Once the survey process is done, Pryde said, focus groups will be formed and other planning work will proceed.

The health district uses the survey to help compile a state-required report for local health departments called the IPLAN, or Illinois Project for Local Assessment of Needs. The assessment must be done at least every five years as the foundation of evidence-based health planning and decision-making.

Doretta Herr, community benefit coordinator at Presence Covenant Medical Center, said the hospital has used the IPLAN data as part of a report it files with the Internal Revenue Service, required of all hospitals to show they're working to increase the health of the community.

The entire process produces a comprehensive plan with a lot of community input and it makes sense for the organizations to work on this effort together, Pryde said.

To take the survey online: http://svy.mk/1aNsSjq

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