Why is it needed?

The Bridge to Health Survey has been a valued source of information on the health status of adults in the Northeastern Minnesota/Northwestern Wisconsin region for more than 20 years. It is a reliable source of data at both the regional and county levels, filling a gap in locally relevant data. The survey has been repeated every five years since it was first conducted in 1995.

Who’s involved?

Throughout its history, the Bridge to Health Survey has been a collaborative effort involving organizations representing public health, tribal health services, hospitals, clinics, non-profit agencies, health plans, foundations, and educational institutions. Generations has directed and been a major sponsor of the survey since 2005.

What is it?

The Bridge to Health Surveys are designed to gather population-based health data on adult residents in 8 Minnesota counties (Aitkin, Carlton, Cook, Itasca, Koochiching, Lake, Pine, and St. Louis) and Douglas County, Wisconsin. A random selection of adult residents in the target population have participated through telephone interviews or mail surveys.

Survey results are reported at both the county and regional level and presented at a conference following each survey effort.  Both the data and reports are publicly available. The reports, infographics, and conference presentations are available for download on the Bridge to Health Survey website.

How is the data used?

The goal of the survey is to provide information that will enable organizations and communities to better understand the health of their population and guide intervention strategies. Area organizations have utilized survey data in a number of ways including program planning, development of new services, advocacy, evaluation, and fundraising. The ability to have the data by gender, age, educational status, poverty level, and geography assists in targeting specific populations.