At Tuesday’s Marshall County Board of Health meeting, residents were urged to complete a Community Health Assessment (CHA) and a Community Health Improvement Plan (HIP).
Marshall County Public Health Director Pat Thompson said the assessments are provided every five years by the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services. Residents have until mid-August to complete the online survey. Then, Thompson must turn over the results to the State Department in November.
“My job is to get the information out there so people can take the research,” she said. “I know it’s not fun to survey, but please do your best because it’s important.”
CHA and HIP evaluations completed by local public health entities in Iowa help build a foundation for improving public health in the state. By completing the survey, Thompson said the county’s health needs and public concerns will be identified.
“This isn’t the first time we’ve done the survey,” Thompson said. “I’ve been doing this for almost 20 years and this is my fourth time participating. We know that not all needs will be met, but it will identify the more prominent ones, and help create a health improvement plan.
Among the community health questions asked in the survey:
Overall, how would you rate the overall quality of health care in your community?
Are there health services in your community or neighborhood that you feel need to be improved and changed? (Please be specific.)
Participants are asked questions about whether or not they engage in healthy practices such as physical activity. to rate medical services such as hospitals, eye care and mental health; And some conditions are problems for society, such as diabetes, cancer and sexually transmitted diseases.
To prepare for the review and get an idea of the community’s health needs, the Board of Health held a town hall with “stakeholders” at the Marshalltown Public Library in May. According to Thompson, these include YSS, Big Brothers Big Sisters, McFarland, Salvation Army and others.
“I sent out several invitations, and 23 people showed up,” she said.
In other business:
A brief discussion was held regarding Thompson’s trip. She will retire at the end of January 2024. After the meeting, Thompson said there were only discussions. Not even a job posting has been created yet. During the May Board of Health meeting, Poweshik County approached Marshall County about the possibility of working together. Thompson said Marshall County has not made efforts to find a replacement for her, nothing has moved forward with Poweshiek, and discussions have just begun.
“It’s taken,” she said. “There is nothing close. Nothing is written down. It’s just a conversation about what everyone wants, how they can do it, and what resources are available.
Thompson said while succession plans are underway, options are still being weighed. She said she is still working for another seven months.
The Health Care Survey is available online at:
Contact Lana Bradstream at
641-753-6611 ext. 210 or