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Common Ground Health ‘My Health Story’ brings focus on Health Equity

As part of its mission to understand and bring focus to health equity, Common Ground Health is launching its My Health Story 2022 survey. Residents of Chemung, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates counties are invited to answer questions about their health by completing the online survey at MyHealthStory2022.org and MiHistoriadeSalud2022.org.

The goal is to provide a vehicle for at least 10,000 respondents to share their health stories, especially under- resourced communities and individuals whose stories are often left out of efforts like these. Survey responses will help deepen understanding of the dynamics that drive health equity, and reveal where program and policy changes could make our communities healthier. The survey will be open throughout the summer.


“Four years ago, Common Ground Health conducted the My Health Story 2018 survey, which led to a host of insights that were published in health equity reports such as Overloaded and The Color of Health,” said Mary Beer, Ontario County public health director. “These learnings also formed the foundations of health improvement plans developed by local health departments.”

“We look forward to hearing the health stories of our community – especially in this critical moment as we emerge from COVID-19,” said Wade Norwood, CEO of Common Ground Health. “Our 2022 survey delves into the key factors that play an outsized role in determining people’s health including housing and transportation, and examines the direct impact on health throughout all stages of life. We believe these findings will be key to understanding what services our community needs in the coming years.”

In 2018, nearly 7,000 residents participated in the survey. Key findings included:

  • Housing impacts health in many ways. People who are stressed about housing payments are more likely to have health problems.
  • Early death rates are as high in some rural communities as they are in poorer urban neighborhoods.
  • African Americans struggle with dramatically higher rates of heart disease than other groups.
  • Residents with the lowest incomes had three times the feelings of helplessness verses their higher income peers.

By the time the survey closes, we will have introduced new accessibility and inclusion features to reach even more residents in the community. “For the findings to be meaningful, participation is needed from as many residents as possible,” explained Norwood. “We encourage everyone to share the link with friends, family and colleagues. Everyone’s story can make a difference.”

Participants can complete the survey anonymously. It is available in English at MyHealthStory2022.organd in Spanish at MiHistoriadeSalud2022.org. An ASL version of the survey will be available soon. A toolkit to share word about the survey is available here.



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