West Virginia Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)
West Virginia was one of the original states to implement Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) in 1984 and the Health Statistics Center (HSC) (an office within the West Virginia Bureau for Public Health) has managed the operation since. When compared to the rest of the nation, West Virginia ranks poorly in both the prevalence and adverse impact of chronic diseases and their associated risk factors. Confounding issues, such as diminishing State resources and marginalized communities have underlined the necessity of collaboration among health promotion and disease prevention efforts.
During the project period, West Virginia intends to focus surveillance and evaluation activities toward maintaining a system to monitor the impact of disease prevention and health promotion efforts by engaging in activities related to Workforce Development, Questionnaire Development, Data Collection, Statistical Analysis, Program Evaluation, Health Statistics Dissemination, and Collaboration. These focus areas align with the WV Bureau for Public Health’s Strategic Map 2018-2022 strategic priorities of Ensuring Programmatic Excellence; Engage and Empower People, Partners, and Communities in Advancing Health; Recruit, Develop, and Retain Competent, Engaged Staff; and Elevate Operational Effectiveness and Efficiency.
These goals will be accomplished through: ensuring the BRFSS program is fully staffed and fiscally responsible; ensuring BRFSS and HSC Epidemiology Division staffs are trained in data collection, management and analysis; assisting with a collaborative approach to statewide strategic planning; collaborating each year with the Bureau for Public Health and other health promotion programs to develop the yearly BRFSS questionnaire using the WV BRFSS Advisory Committee; collecting BRFSS data in accordance with CDC protocols; maintaining and enhancing BRFSS surveillance and evaluation systems; and increasing access to BRFSS statistics for health promotion and chronic disease program planning. These activities will be implemented through the Health Statistics Center of the WV Bureau for Public Health and will build capacity to create opportunities for prevention and health promotion programs to achieve greater impact using BRFSS statistics. It is expected that increasing local, regional, and statewide partnerships and collaborations will lead to positive and measurable health improvements.
Below are just a few recent WV BRFSS Program Success Stories that we plan to expand upon during the coming years.
• WV BRFSS statistics related to obesity, physical activity, nutrition, and sugar sweetened beverage intake were presented at the Southern Obesity Conference held in Charleston.
• Tobacco Use in West Virginia: Major power point and slide presentation on tobacco data completed by HSC epidemiology staff.
• 2017 BRFSS Report
• WV BRFSS statistics are used extensively in the WV Cancer Plan and the WV Tobacco Prevention Plan, both of which are currently under development.
• WV BRFSS statistics will be key to upcoming creation of Bureau and Program Specific Public Health Improvement Plans.