Darien Health Director: That Call from ‘DataHaven’ Doing Health Survey — PLEASE ANSWER IT

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If you get a phone call from a group asking questions about your health, the Darien Health Department hopes you’ll respond, town Health Director David Knauf.

Residents throughout Connecticut and several areas of New York state will receive phone calls from survey-takers at the Siena College Research Institute — generally appearing as a 203 or 518 area code — beginning this month,” Knauf said in an announcement to the town. “Calls begin this spring and continue through the summer.

“The Darien Health Department supports DataHaven’s 2018 Community Wellbeing Survey and implores residents to “Make a difference: Pick up your cell phone or home phone, help your community learn more about your needs, and tell us what you want to see to promote greater happiness and well-being in your neighborhood,” Knauf wrote.

Here’s an announcement from DataHaven, the organization conducting the survey. It has been edited slightly before being published here, mostly by taking out the very long list of local governments, hospitals and other organizations elsewhere in the state that are supporting it (we’ve left in the Fairfield County ones):

How happy are you? Have you seen a dentist lately? Are local government officials responsive to your needs?

Those are just a few of the questions being asked by friendly survey-takers helping DataHaven and dozens of leading community and charitable groups throughout Connecticut complete what is believed to be the largest neighborhood-level well-being survey in the United States.

A record number of participants will pick up the phone — over 15,000 by the time the 2018 Community Wellbeing Survey is complete.

“Our initial feedback from residents and our previous experience with this survey shows that people like to answer these questions,” says Mark Abraham, Executive Director of DataHaven. “They are answering questions about their own happiness and health, their family’s financial security, and how their communities and neighborhoods are faring. These questions show that we care about how they feel.”

DataHaven, the nonprofit group leading the collection and study of neighborhood-level public data on key social and economic indicators, announced the first statewide Community Wellbeing Survey in 2015.

The 2018 Community Wellbeing Survey will allow unprecedented tracking of regional and local trends over the past three years, as well as create an even more in-depth portrait of Connecticut’s neighborhoods, when updated results are shared this fall.

After seeing the impact of the 2015 survey results, over 75 of Connecticut’s leading hospitals, government agencies, and charitable organizations have decided, once again, to support the 2018 Community Wellbeing Survey with major donations.

DataHaven Community Wellbeing Survey 2018

Supporters joining DataHaven include regional community foundations, United Ways, and health care providers located in Hartford, New Haven, Bridgeport, Stamford, Waterbury, Norwalk, Danbury, New Britain, Greenwich, Meriden, Middletown, New London, Derby, and other cities and towns.

Residents throughout Connecticut and several areas of New York State will receive phone calls from survey-takers at the Siena College Research Institute — generally appearing as a 203 or 518 area code — beginning this month. Calls continue this spring and summer.

DataHaven’s 2018 Community Wellbeing Survey implores residents to, “Make a difference: Pick up your cell phone or home phone, help your community learn more about your needs, and tell us what you want to see to promote greater happiness and well-being in your neighborhood,” Abraham said.

More About the Survey & Its Supporting Groups

Unlike most statewide and national surveys, the DataHaven program is meant to bring together grassroots efforts across Connecticut — effectively unifying dozens of existing regional surveys into a single, exceptionally high-quality program that covers the entire state.

The mission of the initiative is to produce reliable neighborhood-level information on issues that are most meaningful to local residents, and to foster collaboration between the hundreds of organizations, institutions, businesses, and agencies.

This nationally recognized program provides neighborhood- and regional-level information not available from any other source on community vitality, health, family economic security and individual happiness. Other topics, such as civic engagement, transportation, housing, and employment — even satisfaction with government and community life — are included.

“We believe the 2018 Community Wellbeing Survey, the most comprehensive local-level survey of its type in the United States, will continue to be of great value to neighborhoods and organizations striving to make our cities and towns even better places to live and work,” Abraham said.

Results from the survey will be published in a series of local and statewide reports throughout 2018 and 2019, helping to shed light on progress being made toward community priorities, including financial security for families, access to affordable health care, public health and safety, and opportunities for children to succeed, as well as on current challenges, such as the opioid epidemic, housing instability, and limited transportation options.

Dozens of reports and studies have used data from the Community Wellbeing Survey, including many that are posted on the DataHaven website.

“The ability to collect and track community-level data over time helps Connecticut’s philanthropic organizations more deeply understand the issues they aim to address, target solutions, and measure progress made over time,” said Karla Fortunato, president of the Connecticut Council for Philanthropy.

“We’re delighted to see so many philanthropic and other organizations come together to support DataHaven’s work,” she said.

DataHaven designed the 2018 Community Wellbeing Survey with support from over 120 government, academic, health care, and community partners, about 75 of whom are supplying funding for its expansion.

More than $1 million in funding was required for the program and was raised across the state.

In Fairfield County and the Greater Danbury area, funding organizations include Fairfield County’s Community Foundation, Greater Bridgeport Primary Care Action Group, Stamford Hospital, Greenwich Hospital, Western Connecticut Health Network, Newtown-Sandy Hook Community Foundation, United Way of Coastal Fairfield County, United Way of Western Connecticut, Norwalk Health Department, City of Stamford, and the City of Danbury..


About DataHaven

DataHaven is a non-profit 501(c)3 organization with a 25-year history of public service to Greater New Haven and Connecticut. DataHaven’s mission is to improve quality of life by collecting, sharing, and interpreting public data for effective decision-making. Since 1992, DataHaven has worked with area organizations and agencies to develop reports and tools that make information more useful to the community. DataHaven maintains extensive economic, social, and health data, including information collected through its Community Wellbeing Survey. DataHaven is a formal partner of the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership, a collaborative national effort by the Urban Institute and approximately 40 local partners to further the development and use of neighborhood information systems in local policymaking and community building. For more information, visit www.ctdatahaven.org.

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