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PACE EH, Tennessee


Blount County Health Department Maryville, Tennessee

Extensive Survey Implementation and Analysis

The Blount County (TN) Environmental Health Action Team (EHAT) developed and administered a PACE EH survey with the goal of identifying environmental health issues that concerned residents of Blount County. The survey was adapted from a previous tool used by the Northern Kentucky District Health Department, an earlier PACE EH site.

The survey was distributed to 2,000 random households in the county. A mailing list was purchased to assure weighted distribution among all county ZIP codes, according to population size. A graduate student analyzed the returned surveys using EpiInfo 2000 software.

The initial survey results presentation displayed the value of such an extensive (and relatively expensive) survey distribution and analysis. EHAT members embraced and "owned" the results and committed to work on the top six issues identified by their fellow residents: outdoor air quality, safe drinking water, surface water quality, loss of rural land, ground water quality, and urban development.

The team formed three subgroups:

  1. Air quality;
  2. Land use (to address loss of rural land and urban development); and
  3. Water quality (to address safe drinking water; surface and ground water).

These subgroups, inspired by results from the community survey process, are the springboard for the vast majority of PACE EH work, including action planning and implementation.