DHEC canvassing 29203 zip code to discover source of poor health - wistv.com - Columbia, South Carolina

DHEC canvassing 29203 zip code to discover source of poor health

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -

Health officials were knocking on doors Wednesday in a North Columbia neighborhood trying to figure out how to get people in the community to take responsibility for their health.

If you live in the 29203 zip code, you can expect a knock on your door through Thursday.

The plan is to complete more than 200 health surveys, so officials can identify what makes the zip code one of the unhealthiest in the country.

A group called "organizing for health" reports the zip code has one of the highest Diabetes-related amputation rates in the country, 30 percent of residents don't have insurance, and the average person living there makes two trips to the ER each year. That's not stopping some people from having an optimistic attitude about turning things around though.

"While we are here, there's always hope and will work to try and realize that," said Mark Barnes with DHEC.

Hope in the form of information is what Barnes is hoping. He's leading teams across the 29203 zip code as they go door door-to-door to gather information about resident's health habits.

"We would want them to just be honest with us," Barnes said. "They are going to ask questions like, do you smoke, are you active, if you're not active then why aren't you active."

DHEC and other agencies say they want to know the root of problem and not just assume they know the answers when it comes to health interventions, so if you see a person with a green vest on outside your door, you're asked to cooperate.

"All of our data is going to compiled and it's going to be anonymous, so just help us help you basically is what we'd ask folks to do," said Barnes.

Copyright 2012 WIS. All rights reserved.

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