For the first time, a comprehensive wellness survey conducted by the Healthier Barrington Coalition is available online so every resident in the 60010 ZIP code can take part before the response period closes at the end of March.
Julie Mayer, the director of community and government relations for Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital, said the survey asks Barrington-area residents their perceptions about the quality of local human services, as well as their access to them.
The survey, which can be filled out at www.takethecommunitysurvey.com, also asks residents about which issues in their community they believe require greater attention, such as coping with job loss, the need for affordable housing or crime.
"Everybody uses the data differently," Mayer said.
For example, Leslie Luther-Jeschke, the executive director of the Barrington Area United Way, said the new Barrington area 211 call center is a result of the 2011 survey. The center connects callers "with a trained and caring professional who will assess their situation, identify their needs and refer them to local resources that can help," according to the United Way.
"We saw that people were identifying a need to access service in a single contact," Luther-Jeschke said. "So we looked at what kinds of solutions were available and realized it was a perfect time for the 211 service."
Luther-Jeschke said the 211 program initially started in 1997 through United Way Worldwide. She said Illinois is one of the last states to have the service, which recently began in central and downstate Illinois. The Barrington-area center, established in October, was one of the first in the Chicago area, according to Luther-Jeschke. It is funded by the local United Way and Good Shepherd.
In addition to the data gleaned from the online surveys, researchers will mail 4,000 surveys randomly to residents in the 60010 ZIP code.
Mayer said in past years the coalition has received about a 14 percent return rate on the mailed surveys.
During a presentation Monday to the Barrington village board, Mayer said the goal this year is to get a 20 percent response rate. Last year, 21 percent of residents in the village responded, but residents of neighboring communities like Inverness, North Barrington and Barrington Hills responded at lower rates.
The median age of responders was 46.6 years old, and the responders were mostly female. Mayer said by putting the survey online, the coalition hopes to get responses from younger residents.
After the survey response period ends March 25, the data will processed and released to the public.