Every three years organizations in Wake County work together to answer this exact question.
The answer matters because it helps all of the organizations focused on health and wellness, including the Wake County government, determine where the greatest needs are and if investments in new resources are helping to improve the overall health of the county. In other words, by answering the question how well is Wake County, we can best direct our limited resources to do the most good.
For WakeMed, the answer really matters because we serve as the county’s safety net health care provider. This means that many times WakeMed provides care to the residents of Wake County who do not have other ways to access health care services. Often times, these individuals do not seek services until it is a crisis. It is our goal to help these individuals get the right care and right resources when they need them – well before it becomes a crisis. It is also one of our Aspirational Goals to help Wake County become the healthiest capital county in the United States.
The very first Health Needs Assessment was completed three years ago and three main priorities emerged from the research, including:
- Poverty & Unemployment
- Health Care Access & Utilization
- Mental Health & Substance Abuse
The next Health Needs Assessment will be completed next year and will tell us if the things we have done over the past three years have moved the needle on these three priorities. It will also tell us if these three items still need to be the priorities moving forward.
The information about how healthy we are is gathered from multiple sources including Census data, focus groups and surveys. In fact, we are right in the middle of the survey period right now. All Wake County residents are encouraged to participate in the survey that ends December 23.
Take the survey today. Your feedback is a very important piece of determining how healthy we are now to help us all be healthier in the future.