In December 2021, Columbia County Health and Human Services, alongside of Aspirus Divine Savior Hospital and Clinics administered a 32-question survey to county residents. Through efforts, we received 646 usable survey responses. Following, the jointly administered survey, both organizations conducted key informant interviews. In total, we collected 27 interview responses. Furthermore, Columbia County Division of Health, had the community health survey responses, their key informant interviews (15) and other secondary data sources, such as County Health Rankings and the US Census analyzed by UW Oshkosh.
The first Community Health Assessment meeting for Columbia County, was held on April 22nd. A group of 37 individuals representing different organization throughout the county met to discuss, help identify and prioritize the health needs of our community. Individuals were from the following sectors: healthcare professionals, religious organizations, youth serving organizations, local government, schools, and substance use organizations. During the meeting, individuals walked around to different data sets that were posted on the walls. Data was broken up into three categories: social determinants of health, risk factors/risk behaviors, disease and injury/mortality. Following looking at the data, individuals, broken up into 6 groups, were asked to report out 4 concerns, 2 successes and 1 surprise. What came to the top of concerns from participants was mental health-27 votes, substance use-26 votes, communication between partners-10 votes, healthcare providers-10 votes, and transportation-9 votes.
We had a second meeting on May 23, 2022 to dive deeper into these top 5 selected priorities. Following the meeting, we created a one-page document to be shared with individuals who live or work in Columbia County. The document highlights our top two priorities and we also developed two workgroups to focus specifically on the top health priorities identified. Anyone interested, is welcome to join one or both workgroups to help us develop goals specific to the top two priorities which were identified: substance use and mental health.