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community health surveyOne of the questions asked as part of the Community Health Perceptions survey. Kansans are invited to take the survey to help the Kansas Department of Health and Environment have ideas about future health and safety topics. Courtesy screenshotELLY GRIMM • Leader & Times

 

The need for improvements to people’s health has been a hot topic for quite some time, and the State of Kansas and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) are looking for ideas and feed back to help with just that through the Community Health Perceptions Survey. 

“This is part of our larger process, the State Health Assessment, and that's shared periodically to help put together a planning document regarding public health, and this time around, that will be 'Healthy Kansans 2030,'” KDHE representative Julie Sergeant said. “As part of the state health assessment, one of the things we're doing is a survey to gain information and perspectives from people about how we can create a healthier future for Kansas and what are some priorities we should keep in mind in that regard. We want these results to help make sure everyone in Kansas has a fair opportunity to live a healthy life. The survey is part of a bigger project that will lead to a State Health Improvement Plan, and hearing what matters to you will help make sure that plan includes the right things. People can learn more about the Healthy Kansans 2030 plan at https://www.kdheks.gov/cpm/NPHPSP.htm

Sergeant said, the survey questions cover many areas of concern. 

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“The survey includes questions about quality of life along with questions about transportation and a few other things people might not think of when it comes to health,” Sergeant said. “A lot of people wouldn't normally think of transportation as being an important part of someone's health, but it is because it can help people have access to good jobs, which in turn allows them to make some healthier options when it comes to grocery shopping and things like that. There are also some questions about access to healthcare services and about where they live and if they feel safe there, and there are also a couple questions about disability and other health conditions. The survey is definitely quite broad as far as the information it's looking for. And since COVID-19's been such a big thing for the past several months, there's definitely a lot of emphasis on personal health in communities throughout the state, and people are thinking more about those things. Also, this survey will allow us to gain perspectives from people all throughout the state about what we should be prioritizing so we can help make a healthier future for Kansans.”

Even with COVID-19 being more recent, however, Sergeant said health surveys like the Community Health Perceptions Survey are important all the time. 

“It's important at all times, but with COVID-19 still being around, we want to do what we can to make things better and improve the health and wellness of Kansans, whether that's expanding hospital services or cleaning up drinking water, whatever people think should be a priority,” Sergeant said. “And with COVID-19, I think people will be more responsive to the survey because there are a lot of opinions and thoughts about what can be done to improve the health of the population of Kansas.”

Sergeant said KDHE is hoping many Kansans take part in the survey.

“The survey is available at https://bit.ly/healthy-ks-2030 and takes about 10 minutes to complete. The survey deadline is Oct. 4, and it is completely anonymous. Survey results will be combined for analysis, and it will not be possible to link survey responses back to the person completing the survey,” Sergeant said. “We also made the survey available in six languages: English, Spanish, Vietnamese, Chinese, German and Arabic. The leaders of the Healthy Kansans 2030 initiative are especially interested in hearing from people who are under-represented in conversations about health, such as young adults who are homeless. The plan is to distribute this survey as widely as possible in order to ensure Kansans from all walks of the life have an opportunity to weigh in with their thoughts about the state of health in Kansas today and their health priorities for the future. Then after everything is finished, the next step is to review all the data, and we're going to also look at information from the different focus groups we're conducting throughout the state. It's very important for this survey information to be part of all of that, because we do want to know what Kansans think our priorities should be. All the information will be gathered together into one assessment document that will detail what was found through the survey, and there will also be a news release after that is released, and people will be able to access that.”

Overall, Sergeant said, she is looking forward to seeing what kind of participation the survey sees. 

“I do hope a lot of people respond, and I hope we get responses from all parts of the state, because we do want perspectives from multiple areas and demographics,” Sergeant said. “We want to make sure we're hearing from all types of people from different areas of the state, we want to hear from all demographics so we can have a full picture to help us. I'm very glad to be promoting this survey because the information gathered will be very helpful, and I'm looking forward to seeing the survey results and seeing what people say we should have as priorities. If anyone has any questions about the survey, they can contact me at (785) 925-1232 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., Lynne Brown at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or Matt Lara at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..”

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