This weekend, Providence Kodiak Island Medical Center begins its third Community Health Needs Assessment.
The 34-question survey, conducted every three years, asks about health insurance coverage, recent visits to medical professionals and community health concerns. It also aims to assess personal health, with questions on smoking, exercise, alcohol use and chronic diseases.
The survey is anonymous, but does ask for demographic information including race, household income and age.
About 700 to 800 people responded to the survey in 2013. Providence hopes to get considerably more this year.
“It’s good practice to get about 25 percent response, which is a really steep goal,” said Carlie Franz, marketing and communications specialist for Providence Health and Services Alaska, “But that’s kind of the standard for research, is about 25 percent.”
In 2013, responders indicated substance abuse, suicide prevention and childhood obesity were the biggest concerns.
Franz said she expects that this year substance abuse and suicide prevention will again top the list.
“I think from the community perspective, not just the hospital, substance abuse continues to be a huge issue,” Fran said. “And suicide prevention in Alaska is generally always on the radar.”
Volunteers at Fisherman’s Hall, Safeway and Walmart will begin gathering responses Saturday. Providence will continue to gather responses after Saturday through the survey posted on its website and the Kodiak Area Native Association website and during Crab Fest on May 26, 27, 29 and 30.
Providence will also work with KANA to distribute the survey in rural communities.
After the survey is conducted, an independent third party analyzes the results, and Providence uses the results to plan potential changes and improvements to services.
Julie Herrmann is a staff reporter at the Kodiak Daily Mirror. Contact her at 486-3227 ext. 627.