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Health Officials Receive National Grant

By Diane Holm

December 19, 2014

Health Officials Receive National Grant 

LEE COUNTY— The Florida Department of Health in Lee County was one of three national recipients of a Health Impact Assessment grant offered by the National Association of Community & City Health Officials. The award will be used in the Tice community of Fort Myers to conduct an intermediate Health Impact Assessment to supplement data collected earlier this year in a preliminary study.

“We will provide the data about the health effects of proposed road connections or lack of connections, and redevelopment plans to decision makers,” said Geordie Smith, environmental manager with DOH-Lee and the project manager. “The planners can use this information to link the health needs into the neighborhood design.”

The preliminary assessment asked residents about their concerns related to health and safety. Those results showed traffic safety was a primary concern, along with air quality and social engagement.

Questions asked in the intermediate assessment include the health impact of proposals to narrow main roadways, lower speed limits and install traffic calming devices such as pedestrian cross walks, sidewalks and bike paths. The surveys delve into the impact of those proposals on health issues such as safety, physical activity, health care access, emergency response, mental health and crime reduction.

DOH-Lee is partnering with the Tice Health Impact Assessment Team. The team includes members from Florida Gulf Coast Univeristy and NACCHO. The work is a part of the Protocol for Assessing Community Excellence in Environmental Health, which was developed by NACCHO and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The assessment is expected to be completed by mid-June. For more information go to http://lee.floridahealth.gov.

The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

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