PUBLISHED: 7:04 PM on Wednesday, August 27, 2008
SEARHC to conduct behavioral risk study
SITKA - The SouthEast Alaska Regional Health Consortium (SEARHC) Steps to a Healthier SE Alaska program will be conducting a special region-specific Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) study beginning in September.

During the months of September, October and November, Southeast residents may receive brief telephone calls from Gilmore Research Group of Seattle, which is under contract to conduct the annual survey. The BRFSS study includes questions about health and health-related beliefs, preventive health practices and behaviors that affect the prevalence of chronic disease, injury and preventable infections diseases. The region-specific BRFSS study provides SEARHC with data that isn't available in the annual statewide BRFSS study due to small sample sizes within our local communities.

"SEARHC's regional BRFSS survey is a unique tool in that it allows us to get an in-depth picture of the health of Southeast Alaskans, and that allows us to better target our programs to meet the needs of Southeast," said Gretchen Clarke, SEARHC Steps to a Healthier SE Alaska program community and workplace coordinator.

Besides providing better information to improve health program planning, the region-specific BRFSS study allows SEARHC to compare the region's health status with the rest of the state and country. The special region-specific BRFSS study first was conducted in 2005, and adults from 31 Southeast Alaska communities are interviewed. The annual survey usually reaches about 600 Southeast residents, who are representative of the region's population in terms of gender, race and age.

For more information about the region-specific BRFSS study and how data is used, contact Gretchen Clarke at 966-8629 or