WICHITA FALLS, TX (RNN Texoma) - For the first time ever, hundreds of Wichita County residents were randomly selected to take part in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
A survey that not only benefits the participants but also everyone across the nation.
"This is an amazing opportunity for us here in Wichita County," said Amy Fagan, the assistant director of health for the Wichita Falls-Wichita County Public Health District. "It's probably once in a career opportunity for me."
Wichita County is one of 15 counties in the entire country who was selected this year to take part. This survey is offered to 5,000 residents in the U.S.
This year 520 were selected in Wichita County, including Fagan’s 4-year-old. She and all the other participants each represent 65,000 people.
“We’re here in Wichita Falls trying to get an understanding of the health and nutrition of people here in the United States,” said George Dixon, the study manager.
Those selected will complete an hour long interview before they're invited to the mobile exam center for a health check up.
"Where we take your body measurements and ask you more questions about your health and your diet," said Dixon.
The data collected in NHANES will help determine the number of people in the U.S. who have a range of health conditions, benefiting everyone from babies yet to be born to the elderly.
"All the information that they share with us is strictly confidential," said Dixon. "We don't share their data with any other person or any other organization."
Each participant will get a preliminary report of findings when they’re done with the exam. A complete report will be mailed to them between three to four months.
“I think it’s important that people understand that this is something that affects their life’s,” said Fagan. “NHANES data has been used in so many different ways to affect public policy and thing’s that end up affecting them, so not only is it kind of an opportunity for them to help influence policy if you will in a very unique way but there is also incentives that are built in.”
Like nontraditional exams, a cash payment, and even reimburse participants for transportation and baby or elder care. Since the early 1960s the NHANES has surveyed over 250,000 people. They will be in town until November 19.