Community asked to take part in MAPP health assessment survey
A public community health survey to assess citizens’ health concerns is underway by the MAPP (Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships) Core Group.
The county survey asks residents about their key health concerns and issues, what attitudes and behavior cause problems for community health and what barriers there are for getting health care.
The survey also asks how people feel about their safety and things like the quality of schools, health care, day care, housing, recreation, transportation, air, water, educational opportunities and job and career growth. All responses are voluntary and will be kept confidential.
“Improving the health of individuals and families in the community is essential. Through MAPP, we hope to identify the health issues and their underlying causes so that improvements can be made,” said Teresa Warnick, Family Resource Network Program Director.
The MAPP tri-county health assessment has been underway since last year. Its goal is creating healthier communities and a better quality of life through an improvement plan created by the communities themselves.
MAPP is a community-wide strategic planning tool for improving public health that was developed by the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) in collaboration with the Centers for Disease Control. (CDC)
MAPP coordinators believe that improving community health conditions needs the collective action of community organizations, agencies, groups and individuals.
“No change is possible without the cooperation of county residents, and improving our health will require change,” Warnick said.
Ensuring public health requires addressing social, economic, environmental and biological factors.
Organization and agencies in Berkeley, Jefferson and Morgan County have participated in a MAPP visioning exercise that asked what their county needed to be a healthier place to live, work and play. Over 600 individuals responded in focus groups or at events.
Morgan County residents shared their MAPP health suggestions at the Parent Child Academy, the Morgan County Fair, the Department of Health and Human Resources, the Morgan County Senior Center and the North Berkeley Community Park grand opening. The Morgan County Wellness Committee also participated.
County ideas for a healthier community included more jobs, better public
transportation, drug prevention programs, teen hangout places, teen activities, a Route 522 bypass, lower taxes for seniors, more police, an indoor community center, a town walking/biking trail and a Wal-Mart.
The MAPP Core Group will be meeting with the Morgan County Commission to share their assessment findings.
The MAPP process
According to MAPP information, the process will help communities identify their health issues and resources, assess their needs, form long-term goals, strategies and partnerships and take action to implement solutions.
Counties will complete four comprehensive assessments of community strengths and assets, health risk factors, local public health services and forces of change that may impact health.
When a county in Tennessee did their health assessment, they found that more teens were dying in car accidents than of other causes and that most of the accidents involved underage drinking, Warnick said. That mobilized their community to make efforts to reduce underage drinking a very high priority.
MAPP sponsors and supporters include the West Virginia University Health Sciences Center, WVU Hospitals East, the WVU School of Nursing, the Family Resource Network, the Health and Human Services Collaborative, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Berkeley County Health Department.
Local sponsors and supporters include War Memorial Hospital, the Morgan County Health Department, Starting Points and the Morgan County Partnership.
Survey available here
The MAPP community health survey can be found on the Family Resource Network of the Eastern Panhandle’s website. The survey can be completed online and submitted electronically.
Printed copies of the survey are available at Starting Points and can be returned there.
For more information about the Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships (MAPP) survey, call Audrey Morris at Starting Points at 304-258-5600.