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Every voice is needed in an online survey that is helping shape Milwaukee’s health priorities.

Milwaukee County residents have the opportunity to have their voices heard about the health of our community by participating in an anonymous, online survey running now through Sept. 24, sponsored by Milwaukee area health systems. Information and links to the survey in English and Spanish can be found on healthyMKE.com.

Hosted every three years by the Milwaukee Health Care Partnership, the survey is part of a Community Health Needs Assessment in Milwaukee County. The assessment helps health care providers and public health departments better understand the needs of our communities, establish health priorities, and improve programs and services.

The community health survey is being conducted on behalf of Advocate Aurora Health, Ascension Wisconsin, Children’s Wisconsin and Froedtert and the Medical College of Wisconsin. Survey participants will be able to learn about how their responses helped shape future health priorities in January, when the health assessment findings will be published and shared broadly with community organizations, civic leaders and the general public.

“Residents’ input is critical to the success of our shared health needs assessment,” Justin Rivas, Community Health Director with the Milwaukee Health Care Partnership, said.

“The assessment serves as the foundation from which hospitals, community health centers and local health departments develop their community health improvement strategies, so we need as many voices as possible to help shape the future of health services in our area.”

The 10-minute health survey focuses on issues such as access to health care, tobacco use, alcohol use, diet, physical activity, cancer prevention, heart health, injury prevention, immunizations, children’s health, mental health and chronic disease. It also includes questions about factors that affect health – including the environment, education, trauma and racism.

Milwaukee Health Commissioner Kirsten Johnson points out that the survey findings will help inform the health department’s own community health assessment and health improvement plan.

“We are grateful to the health systems for including local health departments in the survey deployment. Its focus on health behaviors as well as the social determinants of health, reflects our shared commitment to address the many factors that influence health and health equity.”

“We want every county resident, from every walk of life, to take this survey,” Milwaukee County Director of the Department of Health and Human Services, Shakita LaGrant-McClain, said. “It is an opportunity to help us understand what is needed to make Milwaukee a healthier place for all – and the healthiest county in the state. It is vital that all community voices are heard in this important health improvement planning process.”

The community health survey for adults 18 years and older in Milwaukee County is open until Sept. 24. It contains 43 questions and takes about 10 minutes to complete, with additional questions for households with children. The survey can be found in English and Spanish on healthyMKE.com.

Since 2010, the health system members of the Milwaukee Health Care Partnership – Advocate Aurora Health, Ascension Wisconsin, Children’s Wisconsin, and Froedtert and the Medical College – have shared the funding and design of Community Health Needs Assessments (CHNAs) in six southeastern Wisconsin counties in collaboration with 17 local public health departments. Sharing CHNA costs and execution helps health systems allocate resources wisely, and helps the Milwaukee area hospitals – individually and collectively – establish concrete goals for health education, programs and community investments.

For more information about the health systems’ shared CHNA in Milwaukee County and to find previous assessments, visit www.healthcompassmilwaukee.org.

About the Milwaukee Health Care Partnership

Established in 2007, the Milwaukee Health Care Partnership is a public/private, managed consortium dedicated to improving health care for low-income, underserved populations in Milwaukee County with the aim of improving health outcomes, advancing health equity and lowering the total cost of care. Its members include Advocate Aurora Health, Ascension Wisconsin, Children’s Wisconsin, Froedtert Health, Medical College of Wisconsin, Gerald L. Ignace Indian Health Center, Outreach Community Health Centers, Milwaukee Health Services, Inc., Sixteenth Street Community Health Centers, Progressive Community Health Centers, Wisconsin Department of Health Services, Milwaukee County Department of Health and Human Services, and the City of Milwaukee Health Department.

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