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Public health wants feedback about health topics

Dakota County Public Health wants to know what you think about a variety of health related topics and the department is asking residents to go online and take a survey. The Community Health Opinion Survey is part of the county's efforts to do a comprehensive community health assessment.

Epidemiologist Melanie Countryman said the county hopes to gather information on what health concerns exist in the county. She said the questions ask about a variety of topics including access to medical and dental services, disease in Dakota County, the health of babies and children and environmental issues. The survey does not ask personal health questions.

The survey is one part of the Healthy Dakota Initiative, a wider-reaching effort to improve community health in Dakota County. It takes about 15 minutes to complete. The survey asks respondents to answer based on their knowledge of community concerns, not personal situation. The goal of the program is to engage community members on health matters and develop strategies that deal with identified health concerns.

Countryman said the county wants feedback from people who work and live in Dakota County. A steering committee will use the information and develop the Healthy Dakota Initiative. Plans will be completed by fall 2014.

The county conducts the analysis every five years. The last one was completed in 2009. While in the past there haven't been many surprises, Countryman said feedback occasionally shows issues that are specific to the county.

"It helps the public health department focus on what's going on out in the community," said Countryman.

For more information or to take the Community Health Opinion Survey visit www.dakotacounty. us and search HDI.

Emily Zimmer
Emily Zimmer has worked as a staff writer for the Rosemount Town Pages since 2007. She has a degree in journalism from Minnesota State University, Mankato. Outside of work, Emily enjoys running, reading and gardening. You can follow Emily's gardening adventures at the Areavoices blog East of Weedin'
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