The Salem County Department of Health requested that Holleran Consulting conduct a Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) study among residents in Salem County using the CDC BRFSS tool. The BRFSS is a national initiative, headed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) that assesses the health status and risk factors among U.S. citizens.
The research objectives of the assessment were as follows:
- To gather statistically valid information on the health status of Salem County residents.
- To develop accurate comparisons to the state and national baseline of health and quality of life measures to provide trending information for the future.
- To interpret the meaning of the data collected so that needs are accurately depicted for Salem County residents.
- To conduct research in a fully confidential manner consistent with the Code of Standards and Ethics promulgated by the Council of American Survey Research Organizations (CASRO).
- A total of 620 residents from Salem County were interviewed by telephone to assess their health practices and health status. Interviews were conducted between August 30 and October 8, 2004. Each interview lasted approximately 12-15 minutes depending upon what criteria were met by the respondents.
Mobilizing for Action in Planning and Partnerships (MAPP) was developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Association of County and City Health Officers (NACCHO) as a process to involve the community in identifying local areas of concern and resources for addressing them. Overall the MAPP process enables the community to assess and improve community health and quality of life. The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services adopted MAPP as the tool for each county to utilize in order to develop a Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP), as outlined in Public Health Practice Standards, NJAC 8:52-10 and 11. The CHIP will facilitate the provision of appropriate public health services in the community and sharing of information about health issues and resources with area agencies and community residents.
In June 2005, to accomplish the task of development of a CHIP, a community based consultative body called Cumberland and Salem Community Public Health Partnership (CPHP) was founded with Cumberland and Salem County Departments of Health taking on the role as lead agency. CPHP gradually built its membership to consist of agencies from both Cumberland and Salem Counties. Now the partnership consists of 18 member agencies with one to two staff from each agency participating on a regular basis.