Survey seeking input on social, health needs being sent to four-county area

A survey is being sent this week to residents to help assess the social and health needs of a four-county area in south-central Kansas.

United Way of the Plains, Via Christi Health and the Sedgwick County Health Department are joining together to mail more than 7,000 surveys to randomly selected households in Butler, Reno, Sedgwick and Sumner counties. The households selected cuts across income guidelines, United Way spokesman Delane Butler said Thursday.

United Way has been conducting the survey periodically since 1985 and as recently as 2010, but this year the agency has partnered with Via Christi and Sedgwick County.

The assessment helps the United Way understand the needs and how to best allocate funding, Butler said. It also provides an information base that is needed by other nonprofits and government agencies.

Via Christi’s interest in the survey partially stems from the federal Affordable Care Act, which requires nonprofit health systems, such as Via Christi, to conduct community health needs assessments every three years and to develop a plan for meeting those needs, the United Way said.

United Way and Via Christi will pay for the survey, Butler said.

Deadline for returning the survey is Feb. 6.

A different survey will be sent to area business, nonprofit and government leaders. Government leaders to be surveyed included elected and appointed officials within the four counties.