Health & Wellness

Feb 18, 2013 9:03 AM by Jen Fenter (jen@krtv.com)

CCHD releases community health survey results

GREAT FALLS - The City County Health Department is utilizing its ACHIEVE Grant funds to inspire healthy changes in the community.

The CCHD reports that 68% of Cascade County residents are overweight or obese, a number well above the state average.

CCHD official Alicia Thompson says people who are overweight put themselves at a higher risk for heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.

In an effort to combat the problem, officials created a neighborhood survey designed to find out what exercise and recreational activities people are currently engaged in, and how to make healthy options more accessible.

Thompson says they'll use the feedback from the neighborhood survey as a baseline to help establish functional solutions in the future.

Click here to read the complete survey report (PDF, 20 pages).

Here is an overview of the survey process and results:

In January of 2012, CCHD, Great Falls and Cascade County were among 15 communities chosen for the Action Communities for Health Innovation and EnVironmental ChangE (ACHIEVE) program. The opportunity to become an ACHIEVE community provided the opportunity for CCHD to work with other local groups, like Get Fit Great Falls, to reduce the burden of chronic disease in Cascade County. Being an ACHIEVE community gives CCHD additional re-sources to help accomplish the goals outlined in the CHIP.

How will this happen? One part of the ACHIEVE grant was to put a Community Health Action Response Team (CHART) together. The CHART is made up of community leaders who all live and work in Cascade County. They developed a community action plan (CAP) that focused on the health priority area of reducing overweight and obesity.

There are two specific ways the CAP will help do this:

1) through encouraging the passage of a Complete Streets policy in the City of Great Falls and Cascade County, and 2) through encouraging and supporting workplace wellness programs at employers throughout our community.

The Neighborhood Survey: The Neighborhood Survey, which was developed by CCHD in conjunction with the Get Fit Great Falls coalition and the CHART team, sought to measure community members views, thoughts, ideas and concerns about the priority health issue of overweight and obesity.

The questions and response choices in this survey reflect two of the six best management categories given by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to prevent obesity, create safe communities that support physical activity, and encourage communities to organize for change.

This survey was sent out by email and is a snowball sample of our community. Thus, the results of are not scientific and cannot be
generalized to the population. The results in this report reflect the opinions of those who filled out the survey. The survey was completed by 836 individuals. Not every person who responded answered every question, and there are some questions that allowed more than one response.