Population Health group releases quality of life survey results
SKAGIT COUNTY – Released today as the base component of an ongoing effort to determine “quality of life” issues in Skagit County was a 106-page summary report written after surveying more than 1,500 local residents.
The survey, completed by volunteer respondents between June 21 and July 10 last summer, was conducted on behalf of the Skagit County Board of Health, a public policy board made up of the County’s three elected commissioners.
Sponsors of the survey were the 28 members of a county-wide health advisory panel operating as the Skagit County Population Health Trust Advisory Committee. This group was established in January 2015.
Population Health Trust Advisory Committee Project Director David Jefferson expressed gratitude to volunteer committee members and survey respondents, noting that the 40-question survey represents a vital first step in an ongoing process intended to help community leaders identify the community’s concerns and hopes for improved health.
Those engaged in the process, including private and public sector representatives, plan to identify and act on quality of life issues ranging from housing and employment to education and health care.
“Our advisory committee members have invested enthusiastically in this process, starting with this quality of life survey which is to my knowledge the first such effort conducted on a county-wide level,” said Jefferson. “This survey represents a vital element of our commitment to help leaders in our communities identify and take action to address issues that most directly impact our quality of life.”
“While the responses of these 1,513 local residents is valuable to us,” he said, “we cannot infer that their responses reflect the average citizen’s opinions. We look forward to hearing from a greater cross section of residents as this process moves forward in coming months.”
With “qualitative” elements of the community-wide survey now complete, the Population Trust Advisory Committee has solicited the aid of a consultant to compile “quantitative” data such as percentage of residents with health insurance, employment rate, and number of people spending more than 30% of household income on rent.
A data exploration event will be held October 21, at which time survey results will be compared and analyzed in conjunction with hard data from the consultant. At that time a group of about 100 volunteer leaders will prepare a tentative list of priorities.
“In November or December, the Population Health Trust we will host a series of public meetings around the County,” said Jefferson. “We will share information and opinions that we have gathered and will ask local residents once again to weigh in on the subject of community priorities. We want to ask people if they think we captured their concerns, priorities and hopes.”
“Ideally,” Jefferson continued, “these sessions will also shed light on root causes of some of our challenges, and how they might be addressed with a detailed plan of action coming in early 2016.”
Full results of the quality of life survey are available on the Skagit County website. Details about future public meetings in the County’s three commissioner districts will be forthcoming.