THUNDER BAY – HEALTH – Over the next 12 months, residents of Thunder Bay and District communities will have an opportunity to voluntarily take part in a province-wide health surveillance system that, over time, will shed valuable light on the public health needs of local communities.
The Thunder Bay District Health Unit (TBDHU) encourages local residents to participate in the Rapid Risk Factor Surveillance System (RRFSS) if they are randomly selected. Staff from the project, which is led by York University’s Institute for Social Research, will randomly call 100 people aged 18+ every month on behalf of the TBDHU. Calls will be made to landlines or cell phones. Responses will also be collected through an online survey starting in October.
The survey will ask about public health topics such as mental health, food access, and physical activity. It will take approximately 15 minutes to complete, is completely voluntary, and all responses remain anonymous and confidential.
The information gathered from these surveys will be used to influence decisions about local public health programming and can help raise community awareness about important public health issues. Surveying residents at this time will allow for comparisons to data collected pre-pandemic.
Many other Ontario public health agencies have used this efficient and valued system to help plan programs and services. Over time, summary information gathered can be shared with community partners to inform their programs and services, and will help inform local COVID-19 recovery efforts.