A new data Spotlight from Common Ground Health released Friday reveals that 36 percent of residents who shared their biggest health concern on the My Health Story 2022 survey listed chronic health conditions such as overweight/obesity or pain/pain management. Smaller but significant numbers of people were also concerned about lifestyle issues or mental and emotional health.

The My Health Story 2022 survey asked respondents, “What is your biggest concern for your own health and wellbeing?” as a way to surface what is on residents’ minds when it comes to their health. The question is an important way for local public health officials to ensure they are addressing the needs and concerns of the region’s residents.

The Spotlight looked at responses from a 9-county region, with 2,306 of them answering the biggest health concern question. Their answers range from a couple words to paragraphs of descriptive anecdotes.

“We continue to learn so much from the My Health Story surveys and will release more analysis in the coming months,” said Dr. Holly Sienkiewicz, director of research at Common Ground Health.

While the My Health Story 2022 survey cannot be directly compared with the 2018 survey due to a different makeup of respondents, in 2018, residents said access to care, aging/older adult care and mental/emotional health were the top three named concerns, with obesity/weight following close behind.

Of note is the fact that many counties in our region have programs that address the biggest health concerns named. The report highlights several programs and quotes staff members who encourage anyone who needs help to seek it out.

“There are so many programs out there whose objectives are to help residents thrive with what they have,” said Kelsey Monks, SNAP-Ed Senior Nutritionist for Cornell Cooperative Extension Steuben.

The Spotlight is just a hint of some of the data releases to come from the report. Those who want to learn more can seek out additional info and request access to data.

“We’re open and available to meet with people who might want to consider using the My Health Story 2022 data for their own explorations,” said Dr. Sarah Farash, senior research associate with Common Ground Health.

Respondents to the full My Health Story 2022 survey were from Chemung, Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates counties. Common Ground Health and partners use responses to deepen understanding of the dynamics that drive health equity and reveal where program and policy changes could make our communities healthier.

To see the full Spotlight, go to: www.commongroundhealth.org/topconcerns.