Survey Aims to Find Gaps in Region’s Health Care Needs

08/26/14 | By | 56 More

WESTERN SAN JUANS – Weigh in abouthealth care needs in the region by participating Tri-County Health Network’s community survey, available now through Sept. 15.

Tri-County Health Network, a nonprofit organization comprised of regional health care providers serving San Miguel and Ouray counties and the West End of Montrose County, will distribute surveys over the next five weeks and discuss the importance in participating in them. “Oftentimes, especially in rural areas, people are told what their health needs are, instead of what people feel they need,” said Lynn Borup, executive director of Tri-County Health Network. “This survey will allow people to speak out on what their true needs are and help make a real difference.”

The survey responses will help develop a road map targeting resources and funding for identified community health needs, including developing specific solutions to address health-care disparities and gaps. Tri-County’s Programs Manager Stacey Wright said a similar survey conducted in 2006 indicated a need for dental care in the region. Today Tri-County’s San Juan Kids Cavity Prevention Program (SKIPPY) addresses kids’ dental care needs.

Now, once again, “we are going to the community and asking where those needs are and once we’ve identified those needs, it will allow us to go after grant funding to promote those needs,” Wright said.

In October, Tri-County will share the results and will collaborate with regional health care providers and stakeholders to draft a plan to address identified community needs, specifically targeting necessary resources and funding to move forward.

“Every voice matters in this process,” Borup said. “We truly want to hear from everyone, not just the traditional stakeholders.” We want to better understand experiences, concerns, and gaps in health care.”

As part of its strategic plan, Tri-County operates a number of programs that serve a vital role in filling the void of access to critical healthcare by assuring care is accessible, affordable and available to all populations living in the rural three county region regardless of socioeconomic status. Besides SKIPPY, other programs include Insurance Coverage Assistance Program; Regional Medical Shuttle Program; Community Health Worker Preventive Care Outreach; and Patient Health Navigator Chronic Care Outreach.

The survey takes about ten minutes to complete, and all responses will remain anonymous. The survey is available online at tchnetwork.org or via your Smartphone through a QR code link on local flyers.  Paper copies of the survey are also available at library and health clinics.

 

gjarvis@watchnewspapers.com

Twitter: @Gus_Jarvis

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