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VA Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System

About the Virginia BRFSS
The Virginia BRFSS is an annual survey of Virginia's adult population about individual behaviors that relate to chronic disease and injury. The BRFSS is the primary source of state-based information on health risk behaviors among adult populations.


Contact Staff
Virginia Department of Health
Office of Family Health Services
Division of Policy and Evaluation
109 Governor Street
Richmond, Virginia 23219
804.864.7649 (phone)

2015 BRFSS Call for Proposals

The Virginia Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) began operation in 1989 as part of a federal-state partnership that today has resulted in the collection of uniform public health data from all 50 states, the District of Columbia and five U.S. territories. Each year, thousands of adult Virginians complete BRFSS landline and cellular telephone interviews regarding their health status, personal health habits, and use of preventive services. Although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention(CDC) requires that certain core questions appear on the survey each year, a limited amount of space is available for states to add optional questions at their discretion.

The Virginia BRFSS Program invites VDH programs and other public health stakeholders to submit written proposals for additional survey questions. These proposals will be used to assist the Virginia BRFSS Workgroup in planning the 2015 Virginia BRFSS survey. The BRFSS staff is available to assist programs with developing proposals that best meet their needs. All proposals for additional survey questions should be submitted to the Virginia BRFSS program by 5:00 pm on October 17, 2014. A discussion of all proposals will take place on October 29, 2014 at 1pm. It is recommended that a representative from the program proposing questions attend the meeting to present their proposal and be available to answer questions. Video-conferencing will be available upon request.

Please see the following documents for more information on submitting proposals:

If you need additional information, please contact me at 804-864-7649 or

Once again, I look forward to working with all of you in the future to build a first rate surveillance system for Virginia.


Danielle Henderson, MPH
Virginia BRFSS Coordinator



For more than 20 years, CDC's Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) has helped states survey U.S. adults to gather information about a wide range of behaviors that affect their health. The primary focus of these surveys has been on behaviors that are linked with the leading causes of death including heart disease, cancer, stroke, diabetes, injury and other important health issues.

Through the BRFSS surveys, CDC and the states have learned much about these and other harmful behaviors. This information is essential for planning, conducting and evaluating public health programs at the national, state and local levels. Private organizations also rely on the survey data to develop health promotion programs to reduce the prevalence of unhealthy behaviors and to document the effectiveness of these programs.

The BRFSS is a telephone survey conducted by the health departments of all states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Guam with assistance from CDC. The BRFSS is the largest continuously conducted telephone health surveillance system in the world. States use BRFSS data to identify emerging health problems; to establish health objectives and track their progress toward meeting them, and to develop and evaluate public health policies and programs to address identified problems. The BRFSS is the primary source of information for states and the nation on the health-related behaviors of adults. States collect data through monthly interviews with adults aged 18 years or older. BRFSS interviewers ask questions related to behaviors that are associated with preventable chronic diseases, injuries and infectious diseases.

The BRFSS is flexible because it allows states to add timely questions specific to their needs. At the same time, standard core questions on the survey enable health professionals to make comparisons among states and local areas and also to reach national conclusions. BRFSS data have highlighted state-to-state differences on key health issues.

Information regarding the BRFSS can be found at This site contains documentation related to all aspects of the BRFSS project and specific information related to the implementation of BRFSS for each participating state plus the three participating territories.


Last Updated: 09-25-2014

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