Health survey results to be presented July 13

By FAITH HUFFMAN | News-Telegram News Editor

July 6, 2007 - The results are in — about health-related topics that is.

Texas Department of State Health Services is sending representatives to 17 of the communities which participated in the East Texas Community Health Needs Assessment surveys collected earlier this year, and Sulphur Springs is one of them.

TDSHS representatives will begin their 17-community tour in Paris on July 12, then make Sulphur Springs their second stop. They will be at City Hall in Sulphur Springs, 125 S. Davis St., from 9 a.m. to noon Friday, July 13, to report on the results of the Community Health Needs Assessment, as well as discuss ways to prioritize community health issues.

"This assessment, the report and the meetings represent a significant effort on behalf of hundreds of individuals to document information that can be used to improve community health in East Texas," said Dr. Paul McGaha, DSHS regional medical director in Tyler. "While looking at the big picture of community health needs can sometimes be daunting, it is important to realize the power of community and how people in communities can make a difference."

The survey began in February. Overall, 1,924 people completed a survey, and 470 attended community forums conducted by DSHS and local health departments. The survey encompassed 35 East Texas counties, including Hopkins County, and collected information regarding public health, mental health, substance abuse and medical care topics. 

Other counties covered in the assessment were Anderson, Angelina, Bowie, Camp, Cass, Cherokee, Delta, Franklin, Gregg, Harrison, Houston, Jasper, Lamar, Marion, Morris, Nacogdoches, Newton, Panola, Polk, Rains, Red River, Rusk, Sabine, San Augustine, San Jacinto, Shelby, Smith, Titus, Trinity, Tyler, Upshur, Van Zandt and Wood.

Also among the 17 communities to have community-specific meetings over the next two months are Mount Pleasant, Texarkana, Marshall, Tyler, Longview, Lufkin, Nacogdoches, Jasper, Center, Henderson, Athens, Palestine, Livingston, Crockett and Jacksonville.

A schedule of community meetings, the East Texas Community Health Needs Assessment report, resource inventory and comprehensive data files, are available online at www.dshs.state.tx.us/easttexas. Those planning to attend the community report meeting who will need interpreters or other special accommodations should call 903-447-9746 or send an e-mail to ETassess@dshs.state.tx.us at least 48 hours prior to the meeting.

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