Answer the call - Ottawa County Behavioral Risk Factor Survey is happening now

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July 24, 2020  I  Identifying Ottawa County's Health Needs

Media Contact
Kristina Wieghmink, Ottawa County Department of Public Health, 616-494-5597

The Ottawa County Behavioral Risk Factor Survey (BRFS) started last month and the Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) is asking people (18 years of age and older) who receive a call to please take 20-30 minutes and provide valuable feedback. Your caller ID may show a 423 area code number coming from Tennessee. Please answer the call and help us identify local health-related needs and concerns.

The BRFS periodically monitors health among various geographic areas within Ottawa County. At least 1,200 residents will be randomly selected and contacted by Wilkins Research. So far, we've only reached 250 respondents, so we need to keep moving along! Survey calls will be made through July 2020 (or even longer) to landline and mobile phones. Participation is voluntary and anonymous.

The survey feedback provided will help:

  • assess community members’ health risks,
  • monitor health trends,
  • respond to emerging public health issues,
  • provide data for planning and development,
  • enable community organizations to secure grant funding,
  • determine where funds can best be allocated
  • and work to improve treatment.

In the survey are health-related questions about exercise, tobacco use, doctor visits, health insurance and other topics. Additionally, for this round of data collection, questions were added to determine how the COVID-19 pandemic may have affected people's behaviors and in what ways it may have impacted their health. Funding from numerous agencies, such as those from the Healthy Ottawa advisory council, and grants from the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation and the Community Foundation for the Holland/Zeeland Area have enabled the continued progress of these strategies. The BRFS results are expected to be available by the end of the year.

“Information from this survey reveals how healthy Ottawa County is in many specific areas compared to Michigan and the United States," said Marcia Mansaray, deputy health administrator with the Ottawa County Department of Public Health. "The results will help hospitals and other organizations target their efforts to where the need is greatest. We’re asking residents who receive a call to please contribute their time to this valuable project.”

The Ottawa County BRFS is one of the primary data sources that contributes to the Ottawa County Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA). Previous assessments identified three health priority areas; access to care, mental health and healthy behaviors. These priorities guided the strategies developed in previous Ottawa County Community Health Improvement Plans (CHIP). One of the outcomes from the CHIP is the successful Ottawa Pathways to Better Health (OPBH) program; designed to assist people with accessing community services to improve health outcomes and decrease unnecessary hospitalizations and emergency department visits. The BRFS, CHNA and CHIP are all a part of the Healthy Ottawa initiative. To find more information about community assessments and planning, visit

HEALTHY OTTAWA ADVISORY COUNCIL: Community Mental Health of Ottawa County, Community SPOKE, Greater Ottawa County United Way, Holland Hospital, North Ottawa Community Hospital, Ottawa County Department of Public Health, Spectrum Health Zeeland Community Hospital

Healthy Ottawa

VISION: Healthy people living in healthy communities.
MISSION: To achieve positive health outcomes for Ottawa County community members by partnering to identify health needs, develop sustainable plans, and implement strategic actions.
VALUES: Equity I Collaboration I Excellence I Best Practice

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