Health workers to go door-to-door surveying Schenectady resident - NEWS10 ABC: Albany, New York News, Weather, Sports

Health workers to go door-to-door surveying Schenectady residents

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SCHENECTADY, N.Y. - The Schenectady Coalition for a Healthy Community (SCHC) introduced a community-based campaign for Schenectady County Thursday, "UMatter Schenectady."

The project seeks to identify health and social needs for each neighborhood in the county and build an action plan to address them.

Beginning Saturday, Feb. 23rd, SCHC will go door-to-door surveying about health and access to quality of care, also social support, education, employment, transportation and a safe, secure, place to live.  Results will be anonymous.

Community Health Workers will visit a different city neighborhood every weekend for 12 weeks to conduct the 30-minute survey.

Survey results will be analyzed and shared with city residents who will be asked for their input.

The pilot project will first focus on the city of Schenectady, with the long term goal of extending the survey countywide.

The project is supported by a $100,000 grant from The Schenectady Foundation.  


Q & A with NEWS10's Anya Tucker and Erin Buckenmeyer, the Community Health Outreach Coordinator for Ellis Hospital.


Q: Do I need to give my name?

A: No. It's anonymous. No names or addresses are attached to the survey.

Q: Where does the information go?

A: Ellis Hospital will analyze the data to find any disparities. All the results will be distributed to the community through Ellis Hospital's website and the partner organizations in this survey.

Q: What about HIPPA laws?

A: As long as they (survey-takers) do not connect a name on the survey there is no way they (residents) can be connected to this survey. All the community health workers have been trained in HIPPA laws. So, if they go to a home of a resident they happen to know, they are trained to know that all the information they collect can not be repeated once they leave that residence.

Q: Who are the survey takers?

A: Most are from Schenectady and have completed the Schenectady Community Action Program (a back to work program). Many are trained nurses aides. (they are getting paid).

Q: Why not just mail this survey out?

A: You have a lot of issues with response rates. You don't end up getting many back compared to the number you send out. We also want to have information from every city neighborhood. If we just sent it out we may get more from one neighborhood that another and that won't really give us the information that we are looking for. We want to compare needs in each neighborhood. Like, in one neighborhood the problem may be diabetes and in another it might be asthma.

Q: How did you come up with the questions in the survey?

A: The survey was developed by looking at other tested validated community surveys such as the "Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey". That's a survey that is administered by the New York State Department of health as well as a survey that was done in Chicago. It (the Chicago survey) actually found a lot of things. In one neighborhood the rates of asthma were much, much higher than in another neighborhood. So, that is really getting at the disparity.




  • Would you say that in general your health is:  excellent; very good; good; fair; poor; don't know
  • How many days during the past 30 days did poor physical health keep you from doing your usual activities such as self-care, work or recreation?
  • Do you have health insurance/coverage?
  • Does your insurance always cover the services you need?
  • Do you have a personal health care provider who you see almost every time you go for care?
  • Do you go to the doctor for general checkups or only when you are sick?
  • In the past 12 months, have you received care at an emergency department?
  • If a provider gives you a prescription, how likely are you to get it filled?
  • How long has it been since you visited a dentist or dental clinic?
  • (if more than 5 years)  Why haven't you visited a dentist or dental clinic in more than 5 years?
  • Have you ever been told by a health professional that you have/had high blood sugar?
  • On an average day, how many times do you eat vegetables?
  • About how often do you drink regular soda or sugary drinks like juice or sports drinks?
  • About how many minutes does it take you to get to the store where you usually shop for food?
  • Do you feel safe in your home/where you live?
  • In the past 12 months have you had your heat shut off?
  • When you think about your own situation, what is your single biggest concern about childcare?
  • Did you receive prenatal care during your pregnancy? If not, why not?
  • Do you perform self-breast exams?
  • Have you ever had a PSA test?
  • How often do you get the social and emotional support you need?
  • Are you employed for wages?
  • If you have an appointment with a health care provider or need to go to the emergency department or hospital, how do you get there? 
  • What other personal or community needs would you like to share that have not been covered in this survey?
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