102012Jan

Alamance County Community Assessment Released

Alamance County Health Department, Healthy Alamance, Alamance Regional Medical Center, United Way of Alamance County jointly release health and social findings


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE January 10, 2012


BURLINGTON – The Alamance County Community Assessment was released to the public today, during a mid-morning press conference at Alamance Regional Medical Center.

Every four years, Alamance County completes a comprehensive community assessment.  The assessment allows community members to gain an understanding of the health and quality of life of the community by identifying, collecting, analyzing and disseminating information on community asset, strengths, resources and needs.  The assessment process is meant to capture statistics, attitudes, beliefs and the overall environment (physical, cultural, economical and political) of Alamance County.

The lead agencies understand that there is a reciprocal relationship between the health and social conditions in a community, thus the unique partnership exists between the United Way of Alamance County and the health leaders (the Alamance County Health Department, Healthy Alamance and Alamance Regional Medical Center).

The assessment team has been hard at work over the past year and a half to collect, compile, and analyze local data and study how it measures up within the state.  Four methods were used in the data collection process.

Elon Poll Secondary Data Focus Groups Community Forum
Surveyed 846 English-speaking adults by telephone US Census Interviewed Three Groups: Newcomers,
Ex-Offenders, and Latinos
Hosted Two Sessions
Stratified Random Sampling State Center for Health Statistics Discussed Important Issues Presented Findings and Obtained Feedback
51 Questions Local Data Analyzed Data Created Report

The report has been submitted to the state in order to fulfill accreditation requirements for Alamance County Health Department and IRS requirements for Alamance Regional Medical Center.  The United Way of Alamance County will use the findings from the assessment process to drive their community grant program and Healthy Alamance will evaluate how community coalitions can work to address the emerging issues from the assessment.

If you ask the residents of Alamance County what the focus should be, you would yield many responses that reflect the political, ethnic, geographic and economic diversity of our community.

In order to capture as many of these opinions and voices as possible, the assessment team involved residents using three modalities: statistically-verified random selection telephone survey of 846 English speaking residents, focus groups to capture segments (Latinos, newcomers and ex-offenders) potentially under-represented in the survey, and community leaders and the general public in two open, participatory forums with over 100 participants.

Taken together, we learn that our residents are concerned about four key issues in particular: healthcare access, education, substance abuse, and immigration.

Looking separately at the most frequently identified health and social issues (while acknowledging that it’s rarely easy to separate or define these categories), we find the following priorities reported from the forum:

Priority Health Issues Priority Social Issues
Healthcare access Education
Obesity Poverty
Mental Health Homelessness
Substance Abuse Domestic Violence

“After the community assessment information is made fully available to the community, our agencies plan on working together to devise action plans on how we can address the top health and social issues identified in the assessment,” said April Durr, Director of Healthy Alamance.

The entire 232 page document is now available online at: 2011 Community Health Assessment (CHA)

In addition, 14 printed copies will be strategically places throughout the community at libraries, organizations and educational institutions.

Requests for specific presentations at businesses, agencies, and community groups can be scheduled by contacting designated assessment team partners.

For more information, please contact:

  • April Durr, Director, Healthy Alamance
  • Barry Bass, Director, Alamance County Health Department
  • Eric Nickens, Jr., Health Education Supervisor and Media/Public Affairs Officer Alamance County Health Department
  • Marcy Green, Assistant Director Public Relations, Alamance Regional Medical Center Ronnie Wall, President, United Way of Alamance County