The Evanston Health Department’s Evanston Project for the Local Assessment of Needs (EPLAN) survey should have already arrived in some residents’ mailboxes over the last several days. The survey asks residents about their behaviors and knowledge about health with the intention of using the confidential and anonymous data to direct health programs to fit the needs of local residents.

The survey was recently mailed out to a sample population of 1,200 Evanston residents and paid for through a Local Health Protection Grant from the Illinois Department of Public Health. Every five years the City of Evanston’s Health Department surveys residents about their health knowledge and health behaviors. The survey answers help the Health Department design programs as a true response to needs that residents help in identifying through this survey process.

“The EPLAN survey is extensive and helps give us a picture of how we can assist our residents with creating a healthy community; it is the drive behind our five- year strategic operational plans for the health department,” explained Evanston Health Department Director Evonda Thomas. “The results of the survey will also help the Health Department in applying for grant monies at both the state and federal levels.”

Evanston residents are encouraged to complete the information and return the survey in the addressed, pre-paid envelope that was provided. If residents have questions about the survey, they can call 847.859.7831 or e-mail for additional information.

The Evanston Health Department was established in 1874 and is one of only four public health departments that receive State of Illinois grant money to perform essential operations. Those activities include: food inspections, beach water testing, mosquito testing and surveillance, emergency response, disease surveillance, and a number of other programs.