116 3rd St SE
Cedar Rapids, Iowa 52401
A local collaborative, led by Linn County Public Health, to assess the local health needs and public health’s priorities for the near future has launched its community health assessment.
The Community Health Assessment is a public survey to determine the needs of Linn County’s health and well-being, and to help create a road map for the local public health agency’s priorities for the near future.
Following the COVID-19 pandemic and the social justice movement that took place in the past year, the public health needs of the community may look different than it did in the previous assessment, Linn County’s top public health official said.
“Health equity comes to mind,” said Pramod Dwivedi, director of Linn County Public Health. “It remains much more pronounced to me because of what we saw throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and how people on margins were getting infected or dying at higher rate.
Anyone who lives in, works in, goes to school or visits Linn County can participate in the survey, which is found online on the Together! Healthy Linn web page.
The survey is launched every three to five years. After the survey’s data is collected, the resulting assessment is used to inform the Community Health Improvement Plan.
The plan — created through the Together! Healthy Linn collaborative — will include action steps to address priority issues identified through the assessment. The collaborative, which is made up of multiple local organizations, continues to work on these top issues identified by the assessment until the next survey is released.
“This is a road map of where we want to go and what the process will be to get there,” Dwivedi said. “That’s why the public’s participation is so critical in our community.”
The previous Community Health Improvement Plan, conducted from 2019-21, identified mental health, obesity and safety as the top health needs of Linn County.
The collaborative cited specific goals to address these health needs and implemented strategies during that three-year time period. For example, under the umbrella of mental health, the goal was to reduce the rate of mental illness-related visits to emergency rooms in Linn County by 10 percent by Jan. 2022.
Healthy equity also was identified as a key component of the previous improvement plan, which officials said was a “deliberate focus” as they implemented their strategies, according to the report.
Dwivedi said he hopes to see greater awareness from the public on the importance of health equity, and how social determinants of health can affect a community’s overall well-being.
Dwivedi encouraged community members to participate in the survey, adding that the Community Health Improvement Plan “is their plan.”
“We have to make sure we hear everyone out before making decisions on any sort of health priorities,” he said.
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