Survey stalkers
Grant County Community Health Council members Priscilla Lucero and Mary Alice Murphy, known as the "survey stalkers," with some of the 5,055 surveys collected during the “Your Home, Your Voice!” Community Assessment 2012. Grant County’s incredible response to the survey broke the New Mexico record for participation in a community assessment previously set by Bernalillo County in 2007. (Courtesy Photo)

Silver City, New Mexico, November 9, 2012:  Over 5,000 residents took part in the Grant County Community Assessment, “Your Home, Your Voice!”, a survey that gauged the health and wellness priorities of the county’s residents.  The incredible response by residents has surpassed the previous New Mexico record set by Bernalillo County for participation in a community assessment.  The survey was sponsored by the Grant County Community Health Council.
According to Health Council coordinator, Tiffany Knauf, the participation in the community assessment was unprecedented. “This level of community involvement is not only the highest number in the state, but also the best response rate New Mexico has ever seen from a single county.”  The previous record was set in 2007 by Bernalillo County with 5,000 responses.
During the current assessment, 1 in 4 Grant County residents over the age of 18 participated; a total of 5,055 respondents.  This was the fourth time the Health Council has surveyed residents since the council was established in 1999.  The previous survey, “Speak up, Grant County!”, also in 2007, had 2,219 residents respond and helped leverage over $15 million for Grant County by community partners.  
The assessment process includes focus groups, a resident survey, gathering of county statistics and a priority-setting meeting by the Health Council.  The resulting priorities are presented to the Grant County Board of Commissioners for possible adoption as part of the Health and Wellness Plan for the county.
Health Council members were integral in the assessment process soliciting 1,789 surveys of the 5,055 received.  Health Council chair, Priscilla Lucero, and Health Council member, Mary Alice Murphy, collected the most surveys from the community.
Murphy said, “At public events, like the Fourth of July, I felt community members were quite willing to take a few minutes out of their day and fill out the survey.”
Lucero praised the community for its high participation rate in the survey, “This just reflects what a dedicated community we have to reach such a lofty goal.”
Knauf said of the survey results, “Now the county can validate its needs and priorities with concrete data from the assessment, and funding opportunities won’t pass us by.”
Preliminary findings from the survey will be presented to the Prospectors’ Legislative Session on November 30, 2012. Further survey results will be presented at the Health Council’s meeting on Monday, December 3, 2012 , at 3 p.m. in the Grant County Administration Center, 1400 Hwy 180 East. The public is invited to attend.
The full survey results will be available to the public in January 2013 as part of the Health Council’s Community Profile at the web site www.gcchc.org . The Health Council will present specific community survey results beginning in February 2013. For more information on the community assessment contact Knauf at 388-1198 ext. 22 or email: healthcouncil@grmc.org.

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