Healthy Lee to host town hall meetings

Cape Coral residents have a chance to help shape the future of health care in their community.

Healthy Lee, a local initiative supported by Lee Health, will host a series of town hall meetings to collect the community’s feedback on local health care. The first will take place Monday from 6-7:30 p.m. in the auditorium at Cape Coral High School. Citizens are invited to attend and take part.

“Healthy Lee is a community movement that started 10 years ago to improve the health of our residents and improve the health care delivery system in our community,” Sally Jackson, with Lee Health, said. “All of the work of Healthy Lee is based on data, which indicates the health of our community.”

Every few years, it conducts a research project in the community to collect data.

“Typically, that is a major survey of households,” she said, adding that it involves standard questions that allow Healthy Lee to compare the county’s health profile to previous years and other communities.

In 2007, it engaged 4,000 people in surveys, focus groups and town hall meetings to establish a base line of community health and to agree on priorities for improving the local community’s health.

Fact Box

What: Town Hall Meeting

When: Monday, Jan. 30, from 6 to 7:30 p.m.

Where: Cape Coral High School, 2300 Santa Barbara Blvd.

Who: Healthy Lee

Why: Gather public input to help shape the future of local health care

“We’re doing them again for the first time in 10 years,” Jackson said.

 

“We’re investing in more data collection,” she added.

Monday’s town hall meeting will be hosted by Lee County School District Superintendent Dr. Greg Adkins, who will share with attendees what Lee County schools have done for Healthy Lee.

Attendees will then take part in an interactive survey via their personal smartphones.

“It’s an interactive application that is entered by smartphone,” Jackson said, adding that participants need their smartphones to take part. “They will be given instructions on how to access the app.”

The survey questions will follow a multiple choice format.

“Everyone will be able to respond to a series of questions about health in the community and what they see as some of the most important issues needing improvement,” she said.

For example, attendees could be asked if heart disease is a major concern, a minor concern or not a concern at all for the community. The same could be asked about topics like behavioral health.

“They’ll be asked for their impressions of whether certain health conditions are important as a concern in the community,” Jackson said.

Following the interactive survey, an open mic discussion will be held.

“People can raise questions or add suggestions that weren’t actually covered,” she said.

Attendees can also share additional concerns or comments.

Ten years ago, Healthy Lee held four town hall meetings for the public. According to Jackson, the turnout for each meeting ranged from as high as 125 participants, to as low as around 50 participants.

Organizers are anticipating as least similar turnouts this year.

“The schools have invited all the parents in their distribution list and their employees,” she said, adding that the media has been notified and Lee Health and Healthy Lee have informed clients and customers.

“We’re trying to get as broad of a participation as we can,” Jackson said.

She noted that the goal is to better understand the community’s health and wellness needs.

“The whole reason we’re doing this is to improve community health,” Jackson said.

The remaining town hall meetings will take place on:

  • Tuesday, Jan. 31, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Lehigh Senior High School
  • Wednesday, Feb. 1, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Estero High School
  • Thursday, Feb. 2, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at Dunbar High School

Cape Coral High School is at 2300 Santa Barbara Blvd.

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