Who is HARC?

HARC (Health Assessment and Research for Communities) is a non-profit organization located in Palm Desert, California. HARC provides research and evaluation services. HARC is dedicated to providing objective, reliable research, analysis, and technical services to communities in order to facilitate better decision-making regarding health and quality of life.

What is this survey?

Every three years, HARC conducts a phone survey, calling thousands of Coachella Valley people and gathering data on health and well-being. HARC analyzes this data and gives it back to the community free of charge. HARC has done this survey three times in the past: 2007, 2010, and 2013. HARC is currently collecting data for the fourth survey, known as the 2016 Community Health Monitor. This survey is also sometimes called the “Coachella Valley Health Survey” or the “Coachella Valley Community Health Needs Assessment”.

Why is the survey important?

HARC gathers the data, analyzes the data, and then provides the results free of charge to the community. By collecting the data every three years, HARC is able to track health changes over time. Many organizations, including non-profits, local government, funders, universities, and hospitals, use HARC’s data. The data is used to prioritize health needs, and to design programs and services to meet health needs in the Valley. HARC’s data is often used to prove to funders that a need exists, and get money to provide important programs and services to the community. In the past five years, local organizations using HARC data have been awarded over $12.8 million to fund a variety of community programs, such as feeding homebound seniors, providing counseling to school children, and offering free HIV testing, among many other wonderful programs.

What is currently happening?

HARC has hired Kent State University to conduct the phone interviews for the 2016 survey. Kent State will be making calls to households across the Coachella Valley to ask if adults will participate in a 25-minute phone interview. Both landlines and cell phone will be called. If you have caller ID, it will likely show up as “Kent State University” on the phone. Interviews will be conducted in both English and Spanish.

When will this happen?

Calls will be happening between January and September 2016.

Who is being surveyed?

The HARC 2016 Community Health Monitor targets anyone who lives in the Coachella Valley. A select number of adults will be invited to participate.

Am I eligible to participate if I’m a snowbird?

“Snowbirds”, or seasonal residents who live in the Coachella Valley at least 30 days a year are welcome to participate in the survey, as that is an important part of our community.

Will HARC want to talk to my child?

No. In order to get data on children in our Valley, HARC will be asking a knowledgeable adult in the household about the child. HARC will not be talking directly to any children.

What will interviewers ask me?

The phone survey will cover a wide range of topics, including major diseases, mental health, nutrition, hunger, oral health, physical activity, weight, and more. The survey will also include demographic questions such as age, gender, and ethnicity. Some interviews will be designed for adults to report about their own health. Others interviews ask adults to report about the health of a specific child in the household.

How will HARC protect my data?

HARC takes every precaution to make sure that the information people share is kept confidential and secure. The interviewer will NOT ask for your name, specific address, social security number, or any other identifying information. Your phone number will not be connected to your responses. All your information that is collected will be completely confidential. That means that no one will be able to connect your answers on the survey back to you. All of your answers will be reported with others—your answers will never be reported alone. Even this extremely confidential information will be held on password protected computers, and only utilized by graduate-level researchers who are trained in ethics and how to protect survey participants to the absolute maximum.

Will my individual responses be shared with any governmental agency?

No. No one will see your answers and be able to tie it back to you. The data will not be shared with any law enforcement agency or governmental agency, so you can be completely confident that your privacy is protected.

Why is it important that I participate?

This survey is designed to get an accurate picture of the health of the entire community. Your participation will allow HARC to create an accurate report on health needs here in the Coachella Valley, which in turn will allow other organizations and governments to create programs and services to address the identified problems. In order to attain accurate information, it is important that we have a diverse group of participants who represent different cities, ages, ethnicities, and more. Make your voice heard—share your story!

Who funds this survey?

This survey is made possible by funding from the Desert Healthcare District, Eisenhower Medical Center, the California Wellness Foundation, Desert Regional Medical Center, JFK Memorial Hospital, and several generous individual donors.

What if I haven’t gotten a call, but I still want to participate?

In order to be a really representative picture of the health in our entire community, the survey has to be random. That means anyone with a phone in the Coachella Valley has an equal chance of getting the call. It also means that if you do not get a call, we can’t have you call in to share your information—it has to be random. You can help in other ways, though, by making others aware that the survey is happening, how it helps the Valley, and encouraging them to participate.

When will results be available?

HARC will release the results in an Executive Summary and online resource in January 2017. Limited data “sneak peeks” may be available before then at HARC’s discretion.

What if I still have questions?

If you have any other questions about HARC’s 2016 Community Health Monitor, please contact the HARC offices by phone (760-404-1945), email (staff@HARCdata.org) or mail (75080 Frank Sinatra Drive, Palm Desert, CA, 92211).