Carteret County health officials want feedback from residents as they prioritize health needs in the community, and create a plan to address those needs.
The Carteret County Health Department is conducting its Community Health Needs Assessment to learn about the range of health issues affecting their community and create plans to address them. The process started in 2018 with community health opinion surveys that reached 842 residents. Focus groups then used the results of the surveys and state statistics to identify eight areas of concern for Carteret County:
• substance abuse
• respiratory disease
• heart disease
• access to health care
• exercise, nutrition, and weight
• prevention and safety
On Tuesday, the Carteret County Health Department and Carteret Health Care held a forum to present findings from the focus groups and the surveys. Those in attendance ranked their top three areas of concern based on impact, urgency, community concern, and the likelihood of progress being made in three years. Jones said it’s not too late for Carteret County residents to select their three priorities.
“We encourage people to go to the website and pick their three focus areas. And once we determine what those focus areas are, we’re going to develop action plans on how to address those issues.”
Jones said North Carolina law requires all 100-counties to develop a health needs assessment every three years. Health officials in Carteret County will meet with leaders in 33 other Eastern North Carolina counties on Feb. 28th to identify regional challenges.
“[We] decided to work together and have a standardized community health assessment. We all use the same surveys. We’re hoping that those counties that have similar priorities that have similar priorities can apply for grants together and begin to address those issues.”
Carteret County's final Community Health Needs Assessment report will be published on May 1st.