Rockford Regional Health Council exists to build and improve community health in our region, through education, action and advocacy. To address this mission, the Council conducts a periodic Healthy Community Study. Much more than a simple “needs assessment”, the Study is designed to provide local health systems and community organizations with data to support reporting of community health needs, as well as support decision-making to effectively create change in the community. Study data also enables many local organizations to leverage funding for programs and services.
Rockford Regional Health Council, in collaboration with many community partners, has conducted periodic Healthy Community Studies since 1999, completing a new Study or an update approximately every five years. However, due to new requirements stemming from the Affordable Care Act, this time cycle was found insufficient to meet the current needs of the community. The Council, beginning with the 2014 Healthy Community Study, has moved to an improved methodology for the Study. This new direction will see Study components updated at least bi-annually, providing more timely updates to the data and allowing us to more closely measure trends and successes in changing community conditions.
As part of the Study, a Healthy Community Survey is conducted. This perception-based survey is designed to help identify trends in our community’s health, allowing us to learn what people believe and how they feel about their situations or environments. In additional to general health questions, the Survey focuses on three key focus areas: Maternal/ Prenatal/Early Childhood Health, Behavioral Health, and Chronic Disease/Obesity. Key findings specific to each of these key areas can be found on the 2014 Healthy Community Study Download Page.