Friday, June 28, 2013
Spare a Minute for Your Health
FHA wants to
hear from you for survey
Released by Fraser Health Authority
knows we are what we eat, but our health and well-being are also closely
linked to where we live and what we do. Understanding exactly how these
factors impact one another is at the heart of
My Health My Community, a new web-based health and wellness survey
developed by Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH), Fraser Health (FH) and the UBC
Faculty of Medicine's eHealth Strategy Office.
"My Health My Community is an opportunity for us to learn how our
lifestyles, our neighborhoods and our environment all come together to
affect overall health and well-being," says Dr. Jat Sandhu, regional
director of public health surveillance at VCH. "This survey is incredibly
valuable because it will enable us to share the most up-to-date health and
lifestyle information with local governments, health care planners and
community stakeholders and help them shape policies, programs and community
services that lead to better health."
My Health My Community aims to collect survey responses from at least two
per cent of the population aged 18 and older living in the VCH and FH
regions, encompassing communities in Metro Vancouver, along the Coast and
the Fraser Valley. Residents are encouraged to provide information about
their health status and lifestyle choices (i.e. smoking habits, fruit and
vegetable consumption, physical activity levels, stress levels) as well as
levels of community involvement to establish a picture of population and
community health. Respondents will be able to complete the survey in either
English or Chinese-additional languages will be available at a later date.
The online component will also be supplemented with in-person surveys to
ensure a broad, representative range of people are included.
"My Health My Community will help us understand all of the determinants of
health and wellness in our communities so that we can help shape healthier
social, economic and physical environments," says Dr. Victoria Lee, Medical
Health Officer at FH. "We'll also be able to identify what's preventing
people from getting healthier so we can work to improve their lives."
"Information at a community level needed to determine priorities and gaps is
not widely available," says Dr. Kendall Ho, professor and director of UBC's
Faculty of Medicine's eHealth Strategy Office. "The combination of available
technology such as the use of online surveys, real-time data capture in the
field on mobile devices and the use of social media in raising awareness
provides an ideal set of circumstances to have more comprehensive and
efficiently gathered information. My Health My Community will change how we
assess the health of communities."
The survey team is seeking between 40,000 and 50,000 responses (over the
next year), and all residents are encouraged to participate whether they're
healthy or not. The project will have strict security measures in place
including data encryption and highly secure access systems, to safeguard
those providing personal information.
For more information about My Health My Community and to access the survey,
VCH is responsible for the delivery of $3 billion in community, hospital and
residential care to more than one million people in communities including
Richmond, Vancouver, the North Shore, Sunshine Coast, Sea to Sky corridor,
Powell River, Bella Bella and Bella Coola.
Fraser Health provides a wide range of integrated health services to the
largest and fastest growing population in B.C. The health authority is
committed to improving the health of the population and the quality of life
of more than 1.7 million people living in communities from Burnaby to White
Rock to Hope.
The eHealth Strategy Office carries out research, community engagement and
educational activities to explore how modern information and communication
technologies (e.g. mobile and web-based applications, etc.) can improve
health care. Though there are several research groups in eHealth or Health
Informatics in Canada and worldwide, the eHealth Strategy Office uniquely
combines research and educational expertise in eHealth and community
Copyright (c) 2013 The Valley Voice