National health survey underway in Winnebago County

Staff Report2013 MEC 034

The National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) is coming to Winnebago County beginning on Saturday, June 13.

Winnebago County was one of 15 counties in the country to be selected to be part of this initiative providing important data on public health problems from a national perspective.

Each year, 5,000 residents across the nation have the chance to participate in the latest National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey, conducted by the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS), part of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

“Winnebago County represents the rich diversity of the state of Illinois and the nation with our urban, suburban and rural populations. The selection of Winnebago County for the NHANES provides our community with the opportunity to provide data on the health of the nation,” said Sandra Martell, RN, DNP, Public Health Administrator for the Winnebago County Health Department. “We are pleased to have been selected as a 2015 site and I encourage residents of Winnebago County to participate in this important NHANES survey.”

“NHANES serves as the nation’s ‘health check-up,’ going into communities to collect health information throughout the country,” said CDC Director Thomas Frieden. “The survey is a unique resource for health information, and without it we would lack important knowledge about major health conditions.”

Public health officials, legislators and physicians use the information gathered in NHANES to develop sound health policies, direct and design health programs and services, and expand the health knowledge for the nation.

NHANES findings provide information on a number of issues such as obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

“I am delighted that NHANES is coming to Winnebago County and will be based at the College of Medicine.  Over the years, NHANES has had significant impact on health policy in the U.S.  On a personal level, NHANES has been integral to my research in thyroid disease in pregnancy.” said Alex Stagnaro-Green, MD, MHPE.

Residents will have an invitation-only opportunity to participate in NHANES with individuals being selected at random, in a process similar to taking names out of a hat, for NHANES, and include all ages, races, and ethnicities in order to represent the U.S. population as a whole.

Respondents first participate in a health interview conducted in the respondent’s home followed by a health examination that takes place in one of three mobile examination centers.

While no medical care is provided directly in the mobile examination center, a report on physical findings is given to each participant along with an explanation from survey medical staff.

All information collected in the survey is kept strictly confidential and privacy is protected by law.

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