April 23, 2014

Medina
Mostly cloudy
42°F

Survey to note sex, guns, illness in Medina County

MEDINA — How many Medina County teenagers are sexually active?

How prevalent are firearms in homes in the county?

Is asthma more or less common here than other areas of the state and nation?

These are just a few of the questions health care officials hope to answer with the first Community Needs Assessment survey.

The results of the survey, which will aid the Medina County Health Department in developing programs and setting priorities, were scheduled for release 8:30 a.m. today in Westfield Center’s Blair Center.

“There’s a lot of other data out there,” said Kristen Hildreth, health promotion director for the Health Department, “but none that is so focused on Medina County.”

The survey, which was conducted by Living Well Medina County between March and May, examines health issues and risks for adults, adolescents and children.

Adult topics included personal health, access to health care and gun ownership.

Questions asked of adolescents spanned sexual activity, tobacco use and suicide.

Parents answered questions for children age 11 and younger about such topics as physical activity, bullying and neighborhood safety.

Hildreth said Living Well Medina County, a coalition of the Health Department, three hospitals and several other organizations, will use the data to set its priorities and to inform citizens of health-related issues.

“I think this will confirm what a lot of people already know — the good and the bad,” Hildreth said.

The survey’s results could lead to grants or initiatives to maintain the desirable trends and to address the undesirable ones.

The survey sampled 367 adults age 19 and older, 384 adolescents 12 to 18 and 438 children — a large enough number to provide a margin of error of plus or minus about 5 percent.

Adults questioned were chosen at random. Adolescents were selected at random from three area high schools. Participants of all ages were ensured anonymity.

Living Well Medina County was formed this year to avoid duplicate efforts on the part of its members, Hildreth said.

“Our mission is to assure the community is healthy,” she said. “You can’t do that without accurate data.”

Contact Nick Glunt at (330) 721-4048 or nglunt@medina-gazette.com.