Ottawa County Residents Asked to “Answer the Call” for the Behavioral Risk Factor Survey

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healthy ottawa

June 1, 2023

Media Contact
Alison Clark, Communications Specialist, Ottawa County Department of Public Health
(616) 494-5597

Ottawa County Residents Asked to “Answer the Call”
for the Behavioral Risk Factor Survey

Feedback provided in the survey will help identify community health needs

(OTTAWA COUNTY, MI) – The Ottawa County Behavioral Risk Factor Survey (BRFS), one of the primary sources of data for the Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA), is underway and residents 18 or older are asked to “answer the call” to help identify county health needs.

Public health challenges and individual health outcomes are too great for a person, organization or sector to solve alone. In Ottawa County, the Healthy Ottawa Advisory Council, a group of hospitals and nonprofit organizations, is working to improve the health of Ottawa County by identifying key health problems and engaging the community in developing and implementing strategic solutions. This will be done by conducting the CHNA and using information collected to develop the “Healthy Ottawa Plan,” a community health improvement plan which outlines top health needs in the community, as well as suggested solutions.

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. Participation is voluntary and anonymous and should take approximately 20-30 minutes to complete. The survey contains health-related questions about exercise, tobacco use, doctor visits, health insurance, and more.

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.

Survey feedback will help assess community members’ health risks, monitor health trends, respond to emerging public health issues, provide data for planning and development of community-based programs, determine where funds can best be allocated, enable community organizations to secure grant funding, and work to improve treatment for issues identified in the assessment. The BRFS results are expected to be available by the end of the year.

Along with the BRFS, other surveys and reports are also being conducted as part of the CHNA. The timeline below outlines the phases to complete the CHNA and subsequent Healthy Ottawa Plan. This timeline is flexible to accommodate for changes throughout the CHNA process. Phases may also overlap one another.

  • Winter 2022: Began surveying vulnerable people and populations at risk of being medically underserved
  • Spring 2023: Conduct interviews with policymakers and partner with local agencies
  • Spring-Summer 2023: Distribute the Behavioral Risk Factor Survey to community members; survey health care professionals, local leaders, and frontline health workers
  • Fall 2023: Develop the Ottawa County CHNA Report
  • Winter 2023-Spring 2024: Publish and present the CHNA results to the public
  • Late 2023-2024: Begin Healthy Ottawa Plan development

Previous assessments identified three health priority areas which guided the strategies developed in past improvement plans: access to care, mental health, and healthy behaviors. 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.

“Good health and wellbeing are affected by so many things – access to care, socioeconomic status, mental health, and housing, to name a few,” said Liz DeLaLuz, Vice President of Community Impact at United Way of Ottawa and Allegan Counties. “The information gathered in the Community Health Needs Assessment provides a picture of health needs in the county and helps community organizations develop a roadmap for improving the health of every Ottawa County resident.”   

About Healthy Ottawa
Healthy Ottawa is a group of hospitals and nonprofits working together to improve the health of Ottawa County.

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

To find more information about community assessments and planning, visit

HEALTHY OTTAWA ADVISORY COUNCIL: Community Mental Health of Ottawa County, Community SPOKE, United Way of Ottawa and Allegan Counties, Holland Hospital, Trinity Health Grand Haven,  Ottawa County Department of Public Health, Corewell Health™ Zeeland Hospital


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