Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Public health survey focused on Wahkiakum

Wahkiakum Health and Human Services is conducting a Community Health Needs Assessment, and has put out a survey asking “What are the top 10 factors that impact our community’s health?”

Thanks to funding from Washington State, Wahkiakum is able to conduct its own CHA/CHIP, a Community Health Assessment/Community Health Improvement Plan, and this time the results won’t be muddied by data from larger neighboring counties.

“For the first time we are doing this on our own,” Terrie Howell of WHHS said on Friday.

The survey will allow the community to speak it’s own mind about what it collectively believes to be the most important issues affecting public health in the county.

“As public health, we want to hear our community members voice,” Erica Zink added. “A lot of times how public health works, we get our instructions from higher up and we go out and spout off what those instructions are and people feel like they are told what to do and they combat that.”

“Now we are asking you to lead us,” Zink said.

The survey, along with the help of a data analyst, will help WHHS determine the community’s biggest public health concerns, and how to move forward from there.

This is just the first step. Once they narrow down the community’s top ten concerns, there will be follow up questions to break down and clarify those issues even more. Eventually, the health department will begin to implement plans to address those concerns.

“The more people we get to fill out the survey, the better idea we will get to know what topics are the biggest things to address, to come up with programs, and resources, and get our public health system back on track with what the community needs actually are,” Zink said. “And the more we get, the more accurate and meaningful the results will be."

The survey will be available until shortly after Bald Eagles Day in July. It just takes a couple minutes to fill out and can be found at the pharmacy, the clinic, local business, and at public events, or online at

Survey takers must be at least 18 years of age and live in the county. Be sure to include demographic data, which they are collecting only to ensure that they are hearing from a variety of voices.

Results will eventually be posted.

“Beautiful things happen in this county when community members band together and speak up for themselves,” Zink said.

For questions or to ask Howell and Zink to present the survey at a meeting or event, call 360-795-8630.


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