"U-Matter Schenectady" kicks off this weekend

Posted at: 02/21/2013 9:17 PM
By: Allison Dorchik

SCHENECTADY - If you live in Schenectady and someone knocks on your door this weekend, city and county leaders are asking that you answer. The coalition for a healthy community is kicking off "U-Matter Schenectady."

It's an effort to learn how 'health needs and services' can be improved for everyone, but especially for low income residents.

Everyone who takes the survey will receive a Price Chopper gift card, but more importantly, the ultimate goal is a reduction in health disparities.

Sixteen community health workers will knock on doors in Schenectady during the next 12 weekends. The meeting should take less than 30 minutes and will be conducted via iPad. The questions focus on access to health care and all the results are anonymous.

The Mayor of Schenectady, Gary McCarthy says, "this is unique because it's not a top down effort. Instead of community and health decisions being made by experts, you the citizen will help leaders and advocates to prioritize needs and create an action plan that actually works for the community it's intended to serve.

Organizers hope the in-house and face-to-face survey will provide detailed neighborhood information and give a voice to the underserved.

The Schenectady County Legislator, Karen Johnson says, "this is your chance, your chance to set policy in this community to say things to the way government does business, and make this community a better place."

The U-Matter community health workers will have ids, t-shirts and iPads.

Of course you don't have to let anyone in your home if you're not comfortable.

If that happens and you still want to participate, surveys are being taken at community events, meetings, and public places.