Austin County One of Eight-County Regions Selected For Local Health Assessment

Austin County One of Eight-County Regions Selected For Local Health Assessment

(COLLEGE STATION, TX) — The Center for Community Health Development (CCHD), a research center within the Texas A&M School of Public Health, is conducting a local health assessment.

Assessment data have been used to assist local health care and related service providers, community organizations, policymakers, and residents in making informed decisions on improving access and minimizing barriers to care, creating efficiencies in the delivery of care, and participating in the development of local health care improvement strategies.

Similar to health assessments conducted in 2002, 2006, 2010, 2013 and 2016, this assessment will gather both individual and community information that can provide a “snapshot” of the health status of the local community and document community issues that may need to be addressed to improve the local population’s health. The Brazos Valley is one of the few regions in the US to have such data over an extended period of time.

The assessment process – which began in January – includes a survey, community discussion groups, and compilation of existing health data. Assessment findings will be released in May.

            The assessment is sponsored by the Brazos Valley Health Coalition, which is comprised of regional health and social services organizations, with major funding from CHI St. Joseph Health. While previous assessments were focused on Brazos, Burleson, Grimes, Leon, Madison, Robertson and Washington counties, this assessment also includes Austin County.

The Texas A&M Public Policy Research Institute has been contracted to recruit residents from the eight-county region to take the household survey component of the assessment. Participants will be recruited by letter then will be contacted by phone – both landline and cell – to request them to participate in the survey.  Respondents may participate on the phone or they may take the survey online. Survey recruitment is already underway with the survey cut-off date in the middle of March.

Local Health Assessment

CCHD is again collaborating with many community partners to schedule community discussion groups across the region. These groups capture community members’ perspectives that are difficult to obtain in a survey format. CCHD will meet with various audiences, including health care and human service providers, community leaders, and the general public. It anticipates conducting more than 30 discussion groups in the region.

Assessment results will assist local organizations and the communities in understanding the health-related needs of their residents. In the past, assessment results have been used to secure funding to develop and improve health infrastructure and increase access to care. Locally developed initiatives have focused on issues like rural transportation, mental health services, service coordination, patient education, physical activity and medication assistance.

For more information about the 2019 Brazos Valley Health Assessment, or previous assessments, please visit www.CCHD.us.

About Texas A&M University Health Science Center
Texas A&M University Health Science Center is transforming health through innovative research, education and service in dentistry, medicine, nursing, pharmacy, public health and medical sciences. As an independent state agency and academic unit of Texas A&M University, the health science center serves the state through campuses in Bryan-College Station, Dallas, Temple, Houston, Round Rock, Kingsville, Corpus Christi and McAllen. Learn more at vitalrecord.tamhsc.edu or follow @TAMHSC on Twitter.