ANDERSON – The Madison County Health Department hopes to soon be distributing a survey on how to improve the health of county residents.

Stephenie Grimes, administrator for the Health Department, told the Madison County Board of Health on Tuesday a draft of the survey has been distributed and feedback is being incorporated into the final product.

If the Madison County Health Partners approves the survey, developed in conjunction with the Indiana State Board of Health, the survey will be launched Monday, she said.

Data will be collected over a 30-day period.

Grimes said the survey will be taken by health care providers and patients at the local hospitals.

“Once we collect the data the hope is to have a plan available by the fall,” she said.

In the annual health report, Madison County has been ranked last in Indiana for two consecutive years.

“What I look at are the health factors,” she previously said of the rankings. “We’re above the state average when it comes to smoking, adult obesity and physical activity. We are lower than the state average when it comes to excessive drinking.”

The Health Department is developing a plan to improve health outcomes. Grimes said the intent is to have one-, five- and 10-year plans.

In other business: The Board of Health approved the 2020 budget request for the Health Department from local property tax dollars at $1.3 million, which is an increase of approximately $16,000.

Grimes said the salaries of three employees, currently being paid from grant funds, are being moved into the department’s county budget.

“There has been an increase in revenues from the increase in the fees for birth and death records, which covers the increased costs,” she said.

As requested by the Madison County Council, Grimes said, the 2020 budget request doesn’t include any salary increases for employees.

Follow Ken de la Bastide on Twitter @KendelaBastide, or call 765-640-4863.

Senior Reporter covering Anderson and Madison County government, politics and auto racing for The Herald Bulletin. Has been working as a journalist in central Indiana since 1977.