The “health” of a community extends far beyond the traditional view focused on select health measures and availability of medical resources. Rather, a healthy community encompasses a broad range of community characteristics that define the ingredients of a healthy place to live. With this vision in mind, every four years a McHenry County Healthy Community Study is conducted with the intent to understand and address the county’s most pressing needs, involving partners from diverse organizations, in order to improve the health of County residents.
A thorough understanding of the County’s health was measured using four assessments – each from a different perspective including residents, populations in need of services, community leaders, and descriptors using secondary data sources. Through the assessments, knowledge was gained about the current health status of county residents, demographic trends, social and economic indicators, health behaviors, and utilization of health services. The assessments also attempted to understand the perceptions of community strengths and weaknesses as well as answer questions about the health and human services delivery system, unmet needs, gaps, and barriers to care.
Executive Summary – [PDF] – the 2010 McHenry County Healthy Community Study aims to improve the health of McHenry County residents. That begins with a thorough understanding of the county‟s “health” as measured using four assessments, each from a different perspective including residents , populations in need of services, community leaders, and descriptors using secondary data sources. Through the assessments, knowledge is gained about the current health status of county residents, demographic trends, social and economic indicators, health behaviors, and utilization of health services. The assessments also attempt to understand the perceptions of community strengths and weaknesses as well as answer questions about the health and human services delivery system, unmet needs, gaps, and barriers to care.
Community Analysis – [PDF] – This analysis presents a comprehensive overview of the health status and the factors that influence the health of McHenry County by describing population demographics, health determinants, and health outcomes using a wide variety of secondary data sources. Throughout this analysis, comparisons to other jurisdictions were made, along with comparisons to previous years in McHenry County to examine trends. Topics for this community analysis include race, ethnicity, age, household and marital characteristics, housing, education, unemployment, income and poverty, crime and violence, natality (births), mortality (deaths), diseases and behaviors, health resources and utilization, and environmental health.
Focus Groups – [PDF] – Focus groups are small groups of individuals formed to discuss a topic of common interest, in this case, the views and experiences of McHenry County residents regarding health and human service needs. For this study, eleven focus groups were formed from target populations in order to gain knowledge of their views and experiences of services in McHenry County. These focus groups afford an opportunity to hear the views of certain groups, especially at-risk individuals, who might not otherwise be heard from in other aspects of this study.
Household Survey [PDF] – In order to assess community needs, the McHenry County Healthy Community 2010 partners contracted with Health Systems Research of the University of Illinois-Rockford to conduct a househould survey. The survey went out to 8000 McHenry County residents and asked about community characteristics, needed improvements, availability of services, land use, transportation, employment, health care access and health status.
Key Informant Interviews [PDF] – This study summarizes information obtained from 34 in-person key informant interviews regarding quality of life and health and human services in McHenry County. The interviews seek information and perceptions from individuals considered to be experts based on their professional experience, knowledge of the local health and human services system, or who are in a position of influence within the community.
Community Presentation PowerPoints
April 13, 2011, McHenry County College
- Community Analysis
- Focus Groups
- Household Survey
- Key Informant Interviews
- Introduction, Best Aspects, Priorities
Healthy Community Study 2006
Centegra Health System conducted the study in partnership with other area organizations.