Health survey now available

WashCo_logoThe Washington County Department of Public Health and Environment presented its process for the 2013 Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) during a Tuesday workshop with the Board of Commissioners.

Every five years, DPHE must analyze county-wide health issues and formulate goals to improve them. The last time a CHIP was compiled was 2008. The new CHIP will be created after a series of steps are taken to complete a Community Health Assessment (CHA).

Sue Hedlund, the deputy DPHE director, said the Local Public Health Act of 2003 formalized the CHIP, but CHIP goals and priorities have always been part of the department’s mission.

A key component of the CHA is a public survey identifying top health issues affecting county residents. The confidential survey takes 10 to 15 minutes to complete. The survey is an effective way to discover what the community values regarding health.

County residents can access the survey at or the county’s web site at The survey is open until Aug. 30. For questions, or to obtain a Spanish language version of the survey, contact the DPHE at 651-430-6655.

In 2008, the CHIP found obesity to be the biggest health issue. After analyzing new data and community input, DPHE officials will have a clear idea of what residents feel is the biggest health issue. The CHA will lead to creation of a CHIP made public sometime in June 2014.