CHICAGO — The University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System is prepared to pay residents $50 for participating in a health survey it will launch Friday in 24 neighborhoods.
The targeted neighborhoods — which include Englewood, Bridgeport, Humboldt Park and West Town, among others — are based on areas where University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System patients reside, said Nicole Kazee, senior director of health policy and strategy at the University of Illinois Hospital & Health Sciences System.
"We hope to wrap up the survey by May 2014 and then publish our findings in a report sometime in the fall of 2014," Kazee said. "Residents will be chosen at random so people cannot sign up for the survey."
Those who do participate will be asked 600 questions before having their blood pressure, weight and vision checked in the comforts of their home.
"The survey will take about 45 minutes, so it is lengthy but that is why we offer a cash incentive," said Kazee, who said officials hope to survey 1,400 adults. "And participants have the option of being scheduled for a free exam at the university where they would receive an additional $25 [cash] and help with transportation if necessary."
Surveys will be conducted by field representatives from the university's Survey Research Laboratory and will be done seven days a week, but mainly in the evenings and on weekends when people are usually home, Kazee said.
The survey will collect information on health-related behaviors, such as smoking and exercise; health care access and utilization; prevalence of disease conditions such as diabetes and asthma; and knowledge about the Affordable Care Act.
Dr. Jerry Bauman, professor of pharmacy at UIC and interim vice president for health affairs at UI Health, said the results from the survey would help it provide better services.
“Gathering community health data will help UI Health fulfill its mission of reducing health disparities in the communities we serve,” Bauman said in a statement. “By making the effort to find out how our neighbors are doing, what their health concerns are, and what kind of health care is most wanted, we can tailor our services to better meet the needs of the community.”
One health challenge many Englewood residents — especially children — struggle with is asthma, according to The Addressing Asthma in Englewood Project.
Asthma related hospitalizations in Englewood and West Englewood are among the highest in Chicago at 60 percent and 71 percent, which is more than double Chicago’s average of 31.6 percent, according to the Merck Childhood Asthma Network, a non-profit health organization in Washington, D.C.
Kazee added that participants that follow up with a free exam would be reimbursed for bus or cab fare or receive free parking.
The follow-up exam would include checking for diabetes and a patient's cholesterol level.