Health Department Weekly Survey Results

As part of the process to develop a new, single county health department, Arapahoe County is producing weekly surveys to gauge resident sentiment toward different aspects of health department operations. These surveys are only a part of the County’s larger effort to engage residents in the process.

The County is also evaluating:

  • Legal requirements
  • Public health best practices, including the 10 essential public health services
  • Funding, including federal and state funds and grant funding
  • Needs of Arapahoe County residents
  • What services may be more appropriate from a non-governmental/community partner

Survey results will be combined with other data and engagement feedback and shared as part of the decision-making process. Below are brief summaries of the past weekly surveys. (Results may not be added until several weeks after the survey has closed.)

Feb. 18—Service Ranking

Q: Rank the following in order of importance for Arapahoe County to address in order to maintain a heathy community: (1=most important, 8=least important)

A: Overall ranking from most important to least important were:

  1. Access to services/medical care
  2. Mental health
  3. Safe, stable, affordable housing
  4. Nutritious, affordable food
  5. Economic security
  6. Substance abuse
  7. COVID-19 response
  8. Social connections (which help with those who experience anxiety, loneliness or stress)

Why did we ask? 
Answers indicate which community issues are important to address in a single-county health department. Community issues are reflected in Community Health Assessments, a document required by law. Arapahoe County received a draft Community Health Assessment at its Jan. 18 study session.

Feb. 25—Health Community Description

Q: What three words that describe the most important characteristics of a happy, healthy, thriving Arapahoe County community?

A: The top 5 most common words/concepts were:

  1. Safe
  2. Clean
  3. Healthy
  4. Accessible (tie)
  5. Free/Freedom (tie)

Why did we ask?
Answers indicate the end-goals of a successful public health department, which are reflected in a Public Health Improvement Plan. The plan is required by law and is developed based on the results of the Community Health Assessment.

March 4—Barriers to Health

Q/A: Are you or someone you know in Arapahoe County affected by any of the following? (Check all that apply)


Yes
Lack of social connections (e.g. experience anxiety, loneliness or stress)58%
Difficulty affording basic needs 32%
Inability to access to safe, stable, affordable housing28%
Experience mental health distress48%
Experience addiction or substance abuse/misuse 20%
Inability to access medical care28%
Lack of access to nutritious, affordable food21%
Experience mental or physical distress related to COVID-1949%
None of the above69%

Why did we ask? 
Answers indicate which community issues are important to address in a single-county health department. Community issues are reflected in Community Health Assessments, a document required by law. Arapahoe County received a draft Community Health Assessment at its Jan. 18 study session.

March 11—Business-related Services

Q/A: Is it important that a public health department provide the following?*
(Some services may be required by law.)


YesNoNot Sure
Childcare center inspections 82%7%6%
Body art facility (tattooing, piercing and scarification) inspections 75%13%12%
Public swimming pool and spa inspections   90%6%4%
Septic system permitting and inspections    78%10%12%
Restaurant inspections and reporting96%4%0%
Farmers’ market vendor licensing   49%27%24%
Follow-up on reported food poisoning/outbreaks 94%5%2%
Food safety education62%22%16%
Water quality education  62%22%16%
Hazardous waste response and assistance 83%10%7%

­­Why did we ask?
Answers will help Arapahoe County determine which services the public perceives as are most critical to be provided by a single-county health department.

March 18—Disease Management Services

Q/A: Is it important that a public health department provide the following?*
(Some services may be required by law.)


YesNoNot Sure
Immunizations (e.g. hepatitis A, flu, vaccines required for school-aged children)79%17%4%
Immunizations (COVID)74%22%4%
Sexually transmitted infections and HIV testing  74%22%4%
Infectious disease outbreak response    87%8%5%
Emergency response efforts (e.g. providing critical supplies, coordinating with hospitals)81%10%9%
Chronic and infectious diseases tracking  82%11%7%
Dental care for older adults41%35%24%
Access to clean syringes and syringe use education50%33%17%
Preventive programs (e.g. smoking cessation)   69%22%10%
Healthy living education and promotion 73%18%9%

Why did we ask?
Answers will help Arapahoe County determine which services the public perceives as are most critical to be provided by a single-county health department.

March 25—Women/Child Health Services

Q/A: Is it important that a public health department provide the following?*
 (Some services may be required by law.)


YesNoNot Sure
Resources for children with special needs89%4%7%
Reviews of child fatalities86%5%9%
Nutritional programs for women, infants and children80%7%12%
Home nurse visits for first-time moms and their children living in poverty73%14%13%
Breastfeeding support, education and supplies71%16%13%
Birth control  70%21%8%
Pregnancy testing63%31%7%
Resources for children with special needs89%4%7%
Reviews of child fatalities   86%5%9%
Nutritional programs for women, infants and children80%7%12%

Why did we ask?
Answers will help Arapahoe County determine which services the public perceives as are most critical to be provided by a single-county health department.

April 1—Board of Health Characteristics

Q: In one word, what is the most important characteristic of the Board of Health?

A: The top 3 most common words/concepts were:

  1. Integrity
  2. Science-based
  3. Accountable (tie)
  4. A-political/non-partisan (tie)

Why did we ask?
Answers indicate what residents value in Board of Health members.

April 8—Board of Health Representation

Q: Rank the importance that the new Arapahoe County board of health has representation from the following groups

A: 

  1. Experts in public health
  2. Health care providers
  3. County residents
  4. Elected officials
  5. Business owners

Why did we ask?
Answers reflect who residents want to see seated on the Board of Health.

April 15—Board of Health Diversity

Q/A: Which of the following are important to keep in mind when creating a board of health?


YesNo
Public health expertise92%8%
Geographic representation78%21%
Demographic diversity (e.g. age, race, gender)75%25%
Socio-economic representation73%25%
People who use health department services65%31%
City/town representation 62%36%
People who own businesses regulated by the health department59%37%

Why did we ask?
Answers indicate what residents value in Board of Health members.

April 22—Health Director Qualifications

Q: County Commissioners are recommending that Arapahoe County Public Health employ a public health director who exceeds the minimum qualifications (5 years of experience, including 2 years of supervision, and a master’s degree) and has a background in public health administration. Do you support this recommendation?

A: 

  • Yes: 81%
  • No: 19%

Why did we ask?
Answers help Arapahoe County understand resident sentiment for leadership recommendations.

April 29—Contracted Medical Officer

Q: County Commissioners are recommending that Arapahoe County Public Health contract with, rather than directly employ, a qualified physician who has public health expertise to serve as the medical officer and advise the board of health and health department staff. Do you support this recommendation?

A: 

  • Yes: 53%
  • No: 47%

Of those who do not support the recommendation, 84% would prefer that the board of health directly hire the medical officer.

Why did we ask?
Answers help Arapahoe County understand resident sentiment for leadership recommendations.


* Numbers may total more or less than 100% due to rounding.