The Florida Department of Health in Monroe County recognizes the value in measuring health outcomes and acknowledges the 2017 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps tool recently 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 www.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. The department works in collaboration with many community partners to improve the health of all people in Monroe County. These community stakeholders include Monroe County’s local municipalities, non-profit organizations, healthcare facilities, local law enforcement, business groups, schools, faith-based organizations and many others. These rankings use data related to physical environments, social and
economic factors, health behaviors and clinical care.
In Monroe County, the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) is designed to address specific opportunities for improved health that have been identified by the community. The department has partnered with many stakeholders to implement the CHIP and collaborates regularly to track progress.
While Monroe County ranks high overall according to this year’s County Health Rankings, the report helps us identify areas where we must work harder. Monroe County Coalition is one agency that is working to decrease excessive alcohol and binge drinking in the Florida Keys. Sue Moore, Executive Director for Monroe County Coalition states, “At the Monroe County Coalition, we work diligently to address drug and alcohol use among youth and young adults in the Florida Keys. We are addressing the goal of county’s community health improvement plan by working to increase awareness on alcohol binge drinking and the consequences of such behaviors on the body, liver cirrhosis, and DUI. We hope to decrease the rate of liver cirrhosis in our county while educating the community on the importance of drinking in moderation.”
The Florida Keys Healthy Start Coalition, another community stakeholder, is also working to decrease injuries in the Florida Keys as they relate to bike accidents and drowning. Arianna Nesbitt, CEO of Florida Keys Healthy Start Coalition says, “We work closely with the Florida Department of Health in educating the community on bike safety. We recently hosted two bike helmet fitting courses, certifying 22 new helmet fitters in Monroe County. Our goal in reducing bicycle injuries among residents and increasing awareness of bike laws is imperative to our residents as we work toward a friendlier and safer bicycling community.” The Florida Keys Healthy Start Coalition also recently developed a water safety and drowning prevention program in partnership with the department to decrease drowning rates in the Florida Keys.
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.