ALBERT LEA, Minn. -A Community Forum was held in Albert Lea Thursday afternoon to discuss the health needs of Freeborn County. Freeborn County Public Health and Mayo Clinic Health System of Albert Lea recently conducted a community health needs assessment survey and a wide range of community focus groups, key informant interviews asking members of our community to share ideas on local health issues.
This forum is intended to share the findings from the survey and responses from community members as well as give an opportunity to discuss future plans of action together as a community.12 topics were discussed in the two-hour session. Sue Yost Director of Freeborn County Public Health says the survey took six weeks to complete and they had a 42 percent success rate.
“The community forum is to get input to be able to figure out what is going work in the community,” said Yost. “We are gonna be working on priorities and what area we want to be working on."
Darren Hanson Chief Deputy of the Albert Lea Police Department attended the forum. He says the forum helps him see the bigger picture and will help him do his job better.
"I’m seeing a lot of overlap with these topics,” said Hanson. “We see a lot of things that the doctors and nurse and public health people don't see we see it firsthand. We also see how there might be someone in crisis but there are other factors that figure into the crisis that they are in."
Yost says they plan on using the input they gather Thursday for further research.