HDHHS TO ASSESS SUNNYSIDE, INDEPENDENCE HEIGHTS

Contact: Kathy Barton at 713-794-9998 or Porfirio Villarreal at 713-794-9021

The Houston Department of Health and Human Services (HDHHS) will conduct assessments of the Sunnyside and Independence Heights neighborhoods in September and October to identify health-related issues.   

HDHHS, community-based organizations and community volunteers will visit more than 7,000 Sunnyside homes September 19-22 and distribute informational packets featuring community resources located within the neighborhood. HDHHS staff and community volunteers will return Sept. 24 through Oct. 5 to survey about 750 Sunnyside residents on health issues.

Assessment, Intervention and Mobilization (AIM) projects seek to evaluate and improve the ability of residents to manage their health and well-being. It will also help link residents to needed health care or human services.

Approximately 350 HDHHS employees and community volunteers will take part in the packet distribution at Sunnyside. They will also provide referrals for health care and human services.

A group of about 50 employees and volunteers will block walk Sunnyside during the survey. Health issues that they will query residents about include chronic conditions such as diabetes, asthma, heart disease and high blood pressure, difficulties obtaining health care, children’s health including prenatal care and immunizations and nutritional habits.

Other issues include supportive family environments for children, physical problems interfering with normal, day-to-day activities, exercise and exposure to second-hand smoke.

Distribution of information packets in Independence Heights is scheduled for Oct. 17-19 and survey of health issues Oct. 22 through Nov. 2.  

HDHHS will follow up to ensure residents have received the referrals for services and that agencies are indeed providing the assistance needed.

HDHHS uses AIM projects to help improve communication among residents of Houston neighborhoods and agencies and decision-makers who can respond to concerns and boost coordination efforts to address public health needs. The projects also help HDHHS obtain statistical information to determine a community’s health status and needs and improve its staff’s readiness to respond to natural or man-made disasters.

The department in May spearheaded a similar project in Magnolia Park and in the Tri-Community area comprised of Clinton Park, Fidelity and Clinton View neighborhoods last year.

For more information, call HDHHS at 713-794-9999 or the City of Houston helpline at 311.

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This news release was issued September 6, 2007.