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Public Invited to Share Views on Health in Macon County

DECATUR – Decatur Memorial Hospital, HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital and the Macon County Department of Public Health are asking residents of Macon County to complete a short survey about health issues in their communities. The survey will be used to guide community health efforts for the next three years.

“Each county we serve has unique health needs,” said Sonja Chargois, DMH community health coordinator. “Input from local residents is crucial to identifying those needs and formulating plans to address them.”

Nonprofit hospitals like DMH and St. Mary’s are required by the Affordable Care Act to conduct a Community Health Needs Assessment every three years to identify specific health priorities within the county where those hospitals are located. The hospitals work with other local healthcare organizations and health departments to collect this data and use it to develop a Community Health Implementation Plan to address the selected priorities.

Our organizations share a common goal of providing resources to the communities and individuals we serve,” said Kim Luz-Mobley, HSHS executive director of community health. “We look forward to hearing directly from our community so we can work in partnership with them to address identified needs.”

The survey, available at memorial.health/chna-feedback/, is an important part of the Community Health Needs Assessment. People who do not have internet access can complete the survey by requesting hard copies from Sonja Chargois at 217-876-2117 or visiting the Macon County Health Department at 1221 East Condit Street in Decatur.

During the previous Community Health Needs Assessment in 2021, public input led to the selection of mental health, economic disparities, and access to healthcare as priorities for Macon County. That input sparked creation of initiatives like Stop the Bleed training for the public and DMH’s partnership with Hope Academy in Decatur.

“The survey takes only a few minutes to complete, but it can have a huge impact on the health of our communities,” said Emily O’Connell, director of health promotion and public relations at Macon County Health Department.

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