YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Health districts in the Valley are partnering up to hear from you.

Health departments in Warren and Youngstown as well as Mahoning County Public Health and Trumbull County Public Health have already collected surveys from neighbors about health issues that impact them most. Now, health officials want you to vote.

“It’s very important because that’s going to tell us what’s the need of the community, and it’s really the community’s voice that drives the direction of where we want to head,” said Mahoning County Health Commissioner Ryan Tekac.

Voters can pick three health to focus on from the following:

  • Mental Health
  • Discrimination
  • Infectious diseases
  • Child health
  • Education
  • Access to care
  • Community safety
  • Community conditions
  • Chronic disease
  • Access to Information
  • Access to healthy food and physical activity
  • Substance use

The outcome will help health districts, hospitals and other community groups in their work over the next three years.

“It’s really the community telling us what they want to work on and then us developing ways to reach what they want us to work on,” said Trumbull County Health Sanitarian Dan Bonaker.

The health partners will take the priorities, develop a strategy and even a goal for fighting the issue.

“We’ll come up with strategies and then we’ll focus or we’ll identify organizations and programs that can improve that strategy,” Tekac said. “It’s very important because that actually will improve, hopefully, the health of the community.”

Each health partner may come up with a different approach, but they’ll work as a team and check in with each other occasionally to see how work is progressing on the issue. Identifying the areas of focus is the first step and they will go exactly where the survey directs them.

“Then, we’ll go one by one down and really hone in or focus on what the community is telling us,” Bonaker said.

You can review what people said was most important and vote online.

Voting closes May 27.