SAN MATEO, Calif. — Every three years, San Mateo County conducts a Community Needs Assessment Survey to determine the health of its residents, which in turn helps determine the priorities for the Health System and all County hospitals.
Sponsored and funded by members of the Healthy Community Collaborative of San Mateo County, the Community Needs Assessment Survey kicked off in early March. The survey is scientifically valid, randomly selecting 1,900 county residents and asking them to spend 35 minutes answering questions about their health and quality of life.
“We want people to take the time to answer these questions as thoroughly and thoughtfully as possible,” said Dr. Scott Morrow, San Mateo County’s Public Health Officer. “Directly asking the people we serve what they need, want, and how they feel is invaluable for helping us set priorities, and plan health programs and services to better serve the public.”
In 2008, the survey results revealed several significant trends affecting the health of our community, including that obesity rates were beginning to level off and youth violence was increasing. Community members participating in the survey also expressed concern about the large number of aging baby boomers in the County.
Since that time, the hospitals and community groups have been working to address these issues with new programs and initiatives, such as Get Healthy San Mateo County, a countywide obesity prevention initiative. Other efforts include the Sequoia Health Care District’s Healthy Schools Initiative, and launching the Sequoia Hospital Program, which coordinates care for older adults when they are discharged from the hospital. The 2012 data will help us evaluate if these efforts are making a difference.
Members of the Health Community Collaborative of San Mateo County include the Hospital Consortium of San Mateo County, San Mateo County Health System, San Mateo Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente Medical Centers in Redwood City and South San Francisco, Mills-Peninsula Health Services, Peninsula Health Care District, San Mateo County Human Services, Sequoia Hospital, Seton Medical Center, Silicon Valley Community Foundation, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, Stanford Hospital and Clinics, and Health Plan of San Mateo.