Officials request input about community health and risk factors

Posted at 7:07 PM, Sep 11, 2018
and last updated 2018-09-11 20:11:43-04

The Waco-McLennan County Public Health District is asking residents to fill out a survey that will help them and other community organizations learn about the community health and risk factors and access to care issues. 

Several homes chosen at random in McLennan County will receive a postcard in the mail with instructions on how to participate in the survey. 

"This is about the community's health and it's about where we are as a community and what we can do as a community," Waco-McLennan County Public Health District spokeswoman Kelly Craine said. 

In the past, the results from surveys have helped guide the focus of programs offered in our area. For example, after the 2016 survey, obesity was one of the prevalent issues in the community. Therefore, that was taken into account when developing a fitness program for parks.

"The QR code, the walking signs, the exercise signs are another way that we can make our parks more exciting for people who want to work out," Craine said.

The results also brought changes to the Healthy Babies Coalition that started through a grant in 2011 expanded thanks to the new information. It is now called the Healthy Women and Children Coalition.

"It has evolved because of the community health surveys, as we've learned and understood that what makes a healthy baby, a healthy mom. A healthy mom needs to go to the doctor to get those checkups," Craine said.

Nurse-Family Partnership, a free community healthcare program offered through Baylor Scott & White Health, is part of the coalition. It pairs first-time mothers with nurses during pregnancy. The nurses continue to provide support through the child's second birthday.

Monique Casarez, who is a single mother, recently graduated from the program. She said a nurse who soon became her friend started visiting her home when she was 10 to 15 weeks pregnant.

"There were so many questions that I had for the doctor. One I would forget to ask him or I would be too nervous," Casarez said.

Her daughter, Alexandria Walton, is now two years of age.

"There are a lot of things that being a first-time mom, you don't know. She would let me know calm down it's this, it's that. It's OK," Casarez said.

Nurse-Family Partnership recognized Casarez who works at the WRS Athletic Club Nursery as mom of the year. 

"I felt like someone was out there and recognized that I was a good mom. especially when I'm doing it on my own," Casarez said.

The survey can be completed online, by phone or in person. If your home was not selected but you would like to participate in the survey, you can take it here.

Everyone who completes the survey will be entered into a drawing to win one of the 60 gift cards valued at $50 each.

Results of the assessment will be available in early spring.

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