Health Department Weekly Survey Results

As part of the process to develop a new, single county health department, Arapahoe County produced weekly surveys to gauge resident sentiment toward different aspects of health department operations. While the weekly surveys have concluded, they are only a part of the County’s larger effort to engage residents in the process.

The County is also evaluating:

  • Legal requirements
  • Public health best practices, including the 10 essential public health services
  • Funding, including federal and state funds and grant funding
  • Needs of Arapahoe County residents
  • What services may be more appropriate from a non-governmental/community partner

Survey results will be combined with other data and engagement feedback and shared as part of the decision-making process. Below are brief summaries of the past weekly surveys. (Results may not be added until several weeks after the survey has closed.)

Below are the results of all weekly surveys.

Feb. 18—Service Ranking

Q: Rank the following in order of importance for Arapahoe County to address in order to maintain a heathy community: (1=most important, 8=least important)

A: Overall ranking from most important to least important were:

  1. Access to services/medical care
  2. Mental health
  3. Safe, stable, affordable housing
  4. Nutritious, affordable food
  5. Economic security
  6. Substance abuse
  7. COVID-19 response
  8. Social connections (which help with those who experience anxiety, loneliness or stress)

Why did we ask? 
Answers indicate which community issues are important to address in a single-county health department. Community issues are reflected in Community Health Assessments, a document required by law. Arapahoe County received a draft Community Health Assessment at its Jan. 18 study session.

Feb. 25—Health Community Description

Q: What three words that describe the most important characteristics of a happy, healthy, thriving Arapahoe County community?

A: The top 5 most common words/concepts were:

  1. Safe
  2. Clean
  3. Healthy
  4. Accessible (tie)
  5. Free/Freedom (tie)

Why did we ask?
Answers indicate the end-goals of a successful public health department, which are reflected in a Public Health Improvement Plan. The plan is required by law and is developed based on the results of the Community Health Assessment.

March 4—Barriers to Health

Q/A: Are you or someone you know in Arapahoe County affected by any of the following? (Check all that apply)


Yes
Lack of social connections (e.g. experience anxiety, loneliness or stress)37%
Difficulty affording basic needs 20%
Inability to access to safe, stable, affordable housing18%
Experience mental health distress30%
Experience addiction or substance abuse/misuse 13%
Inability to access medical care18%
Lack of access to nutritious, affordable food13%
Experience mental or physical distress related to COVID-1931%
None of the above44%

Why did we ask? 
Answers indicate which community issues are important to address in a single-county health department. Community issues are reflected in Community Health Assessments, a document required by law. Arapahoe County received a draft Community Health Assessment at its Jan. 18 study session.

March 11—Business-related Services

Q/A: Is it important that a public health department provide the following?*
<(Some services may be required by law.)


YesNoNot Sure
Childcare center inspections 82%7%6%
Body art facility (tattooing, piercing and scarification) inspections 75%13%12%
Public swimming pool and spa inspections   90%6%4%
Septic system permitting and inspections    78%10%12%
Restaurant inspections and reporting96%4%0%
Farmers’ market vendor licensing   49%27%24%
Follow-up on reported food poisoning/outbreaks 94%5%2%
Food safety education62%22%16%
Water quality education  62%22%16%
Hazardous waste response and assistance 83%10%7%

­­Why did we ask?
Answers will help Arapahoe County determine which services the public perceives as are most critical to be provided by a single-county health department.

March 18—Disease Management Services

Q/A: Is it important that a public health department provide the following?*
(Some services may be required by law.)


YesNoNot Sure
Immunizations (e.g. hepatitis A, flu, vaccines required for school-aged children)79%17%4%
Immunizations (COVID)74%22%4%
Sexually transmitted infections and HIV testing  74%22%4%
Infectious disease outbreak response    87%8%5%
Emergency response efforts (e.g. providing critical supplies, coordinating with hospitals)81%10%9%
Chronic and infectious diseases tracking  82%11%7%
Dental care for older adults41%35%24%
Access to clean syringes and syringe use education50%33%17%
Preventive programs (e.g. smoking cessation)   69%22%10%
Healthy living education and promotion 73%18%9%

Why did we ask?
Answers will help Arapahoe County determine which services the public perceives as are most critical to be provided by a single-county health department.

March 25—Women/Child Health Services

Q/A: Is it important that a public health department provide the following?*
 (Some services may be required by law.)


YesNoNot Sure
Resources for children with special needs89%4%7%
Reviews of child fatalities86%5%9%
Nutritional programs for women, infants and children80%7%12%
Home nurse visits for first-time moms and their children living in poverty73%14%13%
Breastfeeding support, education and supplies71%16%13%
Birth control  70%21%8%
Pregnancy testing63%31%7%
Resources for children with special needs89%4%7%
Reviews of child fatalities   86%5%9%
Nutritional programs for women, infants and children80%7%12%

Why did we ask?
Answers will help Arapahoe County determine which services the public perceives as are most critical to be provided by a single-county health department.

April 1—Board of Health Characteristics

Q: In one word, what is the most important characteristic of the Board of Health?

A: The top 3 most common words/concepts were:

  1. Integrity
  2. Science-based
  3. Accountable (tie)
  4. A-political/non-partisan (tie)

Why did we ask?
Answers indicate what residents value in Board of Health members.

April 8—Board of Health Representation

Q: Rank the importance that the new Arapahoe County board of health has representation from the following groups

A: 

  1. Experts in public health
  2. Health care providers
  3. County residents
  4. Elected officials
  5. Business owners

Why did we ask?
Answers reflect who residents want to see seated on the Board of Health.

April 15—Board of Health Diversity

Q/A: Which of the following are important to keep in mind when creating a board of health?


YesNo
Public health expertise92%8%
Geographic representation78%21%
Demographic diversity (e.g. age, race, gender)75%25%
Socio-economic representation73%25%
People who use health department services65%31%
City/town representation 62%36%
People who own businesses regulated by the health department59%37%

Why did we ask?
Answers indicate what residents value in Board of Health members.

April 22—Health Director Qualifications

Q: County Commissioners are recommending that Arapahoe County Public Health employ a public health director who exceeds the minimum qualifications (5 years of experience, including 2 years of supervision, and a master’s degree) and has a background in public health administration. Do you support this recommendation?

A: 

  • Yes: 81%
  • No: 19%

Why did we ask?
Answers help Arapahoe County understand resident sentiment for leadership recommendations.

April 29—Contracted Medical Officer

Q: County Commissioners are recommending that Arapahoe County Public Health contract with, rather than directly employ, a qualified physician who has public health expertise to serve as the medical officer and advise the board of health and health department staff. Do you support this recommendation?

A: 

  • Yes: 53%
  • No: 47%

Of those who do not support the recommendation, 84% would prefer that the board of health directly hire the medical officer.

Why did we ask?
Answers help Arapahoe County understand resident sentiment for leadership recommendations.

May 6—Board of Health Meetings

Q/A: Should Board of Health meetings have the following?


Yes
Public comment items on the agenda90%
Open to public in-person89%
Open to public virtually86%
Streamed 82%
Recordings online77%
Public comment items not on agenda60%
Presentations from outside experts50%
Meet more than once every 3 months47%
Community listening tours42%
Meet with state peers 33%
Other21%

Why did we ask?
Most items on the list above are considered best practices. Your responses will help determine the importance of these best practices.

May 13—Community Engagement

Q: How important is it for a health department to engage the community before issuing an evidence-based public health order that has been recommended by experts and/or a medical officer?

A: 

  • Important: 29%
  • Neutral: 26%
  • Not important: 45%

Why did we ask?
During COVID, the community was divided on the appropriateness of issuing public health orders.

May 20—Prescriptions

Q: Have you ever visited a Tri-County Health Department clinic to pick up prescriptions for birth control or sexually transmitted infection (STI) treatment?

A: 

  • Yes: 6%
  • No: 94%

Why did we ask?
Answers will be combined with data from Tri-County Health to help us understand the on-site pharmacy needs.

May 27—Service Usage

Q: Prior to COVID, did you ever use services provided by Tri-County Health Department?

A: 

  • Yes: 33%
    • Common service used included vaccinations, family planning, WIC, vital records and educational programs
  • No: 66%

Why did we ask?
Answers will be considered along with actual numbers to better understand community needs.

June 3—Fees

Q: Should Arapahoe County Public Health charge fees, as allowed, to offset direct costs? 
Examples: 

  • Fees paid by restaurants for inspections 
  • Fees paid by childcare centers for inspections 
  • Fees paid by body art facilities for inspections 
  • Fees paid by patients who receive health care at clinics

A: 

  • Yes: 76%
  • No: 24%

Why did we ask?
A local public health agency is allowed to collect fees for certain services. Some fee amounts are set by statute, while others can be determined by the County. Note that as a not-for-profit organization, Arapahoe County fees would only be used to offset actual costs. 


* Numbers may total more or less than 100% due to rounding.