Improving Health in West Virginia
West Virginians have plenty of anecdotal evidence that we are perhaps not the healthiest of populations, but an effort by the four state Department of Health and Human Resources bureaus and the West Virginia University Office of Health Affairs aims to get some hard data to help policy makers and health officials understand what we really need to be better.
With the Mountain State Assessment of Trends in Community Health survey, approximately 7% of the population will be sampled through December. Researchers will be asking about general physical wellness, ability to access needed health care, chronic diseases and their impact on general wellness, food security, financial stability and mental well-being.
“Data-driven decision-making leads to better health policy, and better health policy leads to healthier West Virginians,” said Dr. Summer Hartley, principal investigator of the project and assistant vice president for the Office of Health Affairs.
“The M.A.T.C.H. survey will yield data essential for ensuring that health resources reach our communities most in need.”
Well, it will yield helpful data IF those who receive the mailing take the time to respond. There will be 88,000 mailed out.
Don’t ignore it, folks. Should your household be among those selected to receive the mailing, consider it your responsibility to your fellow West Virginians to take the time to answer honestly and thoroughly.
This is a busy time of year. But take a look at the friends and family with whom you hope to spend these and many more holidays. If a little time filling out a survey means data that could improve health outlooks for them and the state as a whole, it is time well spent.