SULLIVAN COUNTY – Sullivan County Public Health Services would like to inform residents that they may have recently received – or shortly will receive – a health survey from the NYU School of Medicine to complete.
Surveys were recently mailed to approximately 17,500 randomly selected households throughout Sullivan County and are due back by October 28. The survey takes approximately 5 to 10 minutes to complete, and those who reply will receive a $10 Visa gift card by mail. It is completely voluntary, and responses will be kept confidential. No information will be collected or used to identify anyone who participates in the survey, though respondents must be a Sullivan County resident to be eligible.
The surveys are phase two of a multi-year project funded by the New York Health Foundation. The project will help Sullivan County Public Health Services identify areas of chronic disease through data collection and GIS mapping, allowing for more robust planning to develop targeted interventions to improve population health.
The research is led by Dr. David Lee, who is an emergency physician and population health researcher at the NYU School of Medicine in New York City. The research is focused on chronic disease surveillance and uses geographic analysis to identify local health patterns by zip code and emergency room utilization rates.
Sullivan County was identified as an area of interest by the NY Health Foundation because it has some of the highest rates of chronic disease in comparison to other counties in New York State.
The goal of the research is to help focus health interventions and recommend evidence-based models for delivery of care to those individuals who need it most by identifying areas of the county with higher rates of disease prevalence.
“This will be a key tool in improving our health outcomes,” County Manager Josh Potosek affirmed. “The data we receive from these surveys and the subsequent research will allow us to fine-tune our efforts to boost our health rankings and make Sullivan County a healthier place to live, work and visit.”
For example, based on current data collection methods, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) says that diabetes prevalence in Sullivan County is about 9.3%. “However, that does not tell us what’s going on at a more local level in Sullivan County. We also hope to be able to generate maps for local planning for other diseases such as hypertension or asthma,” said Nancy McGraw, Public Health Director.
“I just received the survey myself, and my family will be sending it back promptly,” noted District 2 Legislator Nadia Rajsz, who chairs the Legislature’s Health and Family Services Committee, which approved the survey mailings. “This is crucial for our understanding of where ‘hotspots’ exist in the County, and I urge every survey recipient to help us identify what more we can do to improve our health outcomes.”
Questions regarding the surveys or the project can be directed to 845-397-7747 or 845-292-5910.