FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH IN ESCAMBIA COUNTY ADDRESSES COUNTY HEALTH RANKINGS
March 29, 2017
Pensacola, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health in Escambia County (FDOH-Escambia) recognizes the value in measuring health outcomes and today acknowledged the 2017 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps tool released by the University of Wisconsin and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. This study highlights the many community factors that influence health and uses established data, much of which is available from the department at FLHealthCHARTS.com.
These rankings are a snapshot of the health of counties across the country and they emphasize that health is not a singular effort but a combined work in progress across all community partners. FDOH-Escambia works in collaboration with local governments, non-profit organizations, health care facilities, business groups, schools, faith-based organizations, and many other stakeholders to improve the health of all people in Escambia County, Florida. These rankings use data related to physical environments, social and economic factors, health behaviors and clinical care.
FDOH-Escambia’s Director, John J. Lanza, MD, PhD, MPH, FAAP, remarks: “We have been monitoring the annual reports since the first rankings for Florida counties were published in 2010. As each year’s rankings are published, their value grows by providing a comparative history of the key measures used in the ranking system. Such data helps to direct our focus in the community health improvement planning process. Our current Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) was published in December 2016, and addresses many of the public health issues associated with these measures by focusing on the priority areas of healthy weight, tobacco use, access to care, and infant mortality.”
The department has partnered with many stakeholders to implement the CHIP and collaborates regularly to track progress. Current and upcoming initiatives tied to the 2016 CHIP include: collaborating with worksites, physicians offices and clinics, and other organizations to raise awareness of Type 2 Diabetes and reduce people’s risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes; working in the community to raise awareness of the dangers associated with electronic nicotine delivery systems (ENDS – also known as e-cigarettes); supporting and implementing behaviors associated with reducing infant mortality, such as breastfeeding and limiting infants’ exposure to tobacco smoke during pregnancy and after birth; and coordinating with child care programs and parents of preschoolers to incorporate physical activity into daily non-recess activities.
Last week the Florida Department of Health celebrated a one year milestone as the first integrated department of health in the nation to achieve national accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board. Public health departments play a critical role in protecting and improving the health of people and communities. The seal of accreditation signifies that the Florida Department of Health has been rigorously examined and meets or exceeds national standards that promote continuous quality improvement for public health.
About the Florida Department of Health
The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.
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