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‘Your opinion matters’ - Community Strength and Themes Assessment starting date approaching

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By G. ANTHONIE RIIS
Gold Standard Reporter

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The Army wants Fort Knox service members and employees to fill out a survey to capture opinions on how well the installation is doing in caring for the needs of its people and how best to serve them. 

Called the Community Strength and Themes Assessment, the survey is an anonymous online tool that will begin Friday The assessment asks members of the installation and its neighboring communities about their concerns, needs and wants. In turn, these responses will become the cultural bar for which the commander and his organization is striving.

 “This tool is a means to capture [your] thoughts about what is important to our installation and quality of life,” said Col. Pat Kaune, commander of U.S. Army Garrison. “This helps senior commanders and our installation team to employ sound governance and prioritize our resources in meeting the demand.”  

The survey is useful in determining which preexisting programs are effective, which need to be retooled, and which have outlived their purpose.

“There is a two-year period between surveys that is the trying time,” said Dr. Debra Kirksey, prevention specialist at the Army Substance Abuse Program. “The system is designed to capture the qualitative pulse of [our peoples’] feelings on quality of life, health, safety and within the Army installation environment.

“We’ll review and assess programs and the needed funding, and allocate accordingly,” she said.  

The Community Health Promotion Council presides over working groups that mull over the issues expressed by participants. The council then prioritizes them, taking into consideration everything from high risk behaviors, the bodily health benefits of sleep, activity and nutrition, to spiritual health and various family issues.

“The benefits of this survey are many and diverse,” Kirksey said. “This is a report card of our strengths, but it also implements the changes we’ll need to make to ensure Fort Knox and our surrounding communities are better places to work and live.”

Kaune pointed out that real solutions begin with candid assessment. 

“Be honest and provide your ideas on how to improve,” Kaune said. “Your opinion matters.”