August 21 2011The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) needs your help so it can provide better health programs around the region. During September and October, a company contracted by SEARHC Health Promotion will conduct a Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS, pronounced “ber-fus”) telephone survey. More than 600 households in Southeast Alaska will be asked to take part in the 15-minute phone call that asks basic health questions. People will be asked about their levels of health, what they do to stay healthy, what they do when they get sick and how easy it is for them to get health care. The State of Alaska conducts an annual BRFSS telephone survey, but that survey usually doesn’t have enough participants from Southeast Alaska (especially Alaska Native participants) to get a clear picture of regional health trends. This special survey targets Southeast Alaska so there is better data. It will be similar to an annual survey the SEARHC Steps to a Healthier SE Alaska program conducted in 2005-08 that focused on Southeast Alaska. SEARHC will use the data for program planning so it can better serve the health needs of the 18 tribal communities in the consortium. “This information tells us how well we are doing and guides us as we develop future health promotion and disease prevention programs,” SEARHC Director of Health Promotion Kathy O’Gara said. “We found with our other survey that Southeast Alaska residents were continuing to make positive changes with their health, which means our SEARHC health initiatives are working.” If you receive on BRFSS telephone survey call at your home, please take the 15 minutes to complete the survey and encourage your family and friends to do the same. The more people who answer the survey, the better the information SEARHC will have to plan health programs. The individual calls will be confidential, with only the overall data being used. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Andrea Thomas at 966-8883 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or Edy Rodewald at 364-4452 or email@example.com.