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Florida Department of Health in Lee County Addresses County Health Rankings

By FDOH Lee PIO

March 22, 2019

Fort Myers, Fla. —The Florida Department of Health in Lee County recognizes the value in measuring health outcomes and today acknowledged the 2019 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 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 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 Lee County. These rankings use data related to physical environments, social and economic factors, health behaviors and clinical care.

 

In Lee 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.

  • The Florida Department of Health recognizes the value in measuring health outcomes and acknowledges the University of Wisconsin and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation for sharing the 2019 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps tool.
  • Through our county health departments, the Florida Department of Health works as an integrated, statewide system to partner with local governments, non-profit organizations, health care facilities, business groups and many other stakeholders to pursue better health for all people in Florida. 
  • Florida has developed a State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP). The SHIP is our roadmap with milestones that are consistent with the data behind these rankings. The Department also champions the development of a community health improvement plan (CHIP) in each of Florida’s 67 counties and was one of the first states in the nation to have these plans in place in every county.

 

    • CHIPs facilitate strategic community private-public partnerships to prioritize local health improvement activities and maximize how local resources are utilized.

 

  • The Rankings show us there are many influences on health: economic, social, behavioral, environmental, and clinical care factors. Health is everyone’s business, including employers, educators and urban planners, so all stakeholders in a community must work together to improve health.
  • The County Health Rankings use traditional, common data, much of which was obtained from the Department and is available at www.FLHealthCHARTS.com.
  • The Rankings include two categories: Health Outcomes and Health Factors. “Health Outcomes” use length of life and quality of life as standard measurements to describe a community’s health. “Health Factors” are indicators that help determine our future health (i.e., factors that can ultimately make us sick or lead to an early death.)
  • The Rankings may be a springboard for community-wide discussions about improving overall health.
  • Starting on Wednesday, March 19, 2019 the County Health Rankings report can be found at: www.countyhealthrankings.org.

 

HEALTH EQUITY

  • A key area of focus for the Department statewide is health equity.
  • Health equity is the attainment of the highest level of health for all people, and requires focusing on avoidable inequalities, historical and contemporary injustices and the elimination of health and health care disparities. It provides the foundation for success in all the other health issue priorities.

“We know that someone’s environment has a big impact on their health. Economic, community and social factors play a large role, which is why our partnerships with a wide-range of public and private organizations are so critical in addressing the factors that determine whether someone is able to achieve their ideal health,” says Angela Smith, FDOH Lee Administrator.

Scoring in The Top 16 Percent

  • The County Health Rankings help us to understand what factors have influenced good health in our community and how we can continue to make Lee County a healthy place to live, learn, work and play.
  • The County Health Rankings also indicate how Lee County ranks on factors influencing its overall health ranking. For example, Lee County has strengths in the area(s) of Quality of life and Health Behaviors, where we ranked 12th and 9th out of 67 respectively.
  • Our high ranking reflects our attention to the many factors that affect residents’ health and our emphasis on sustaining our programs as we work to stay healthy. Collaboration with community partners has been a key to the Florida Department of Health in Lee County’s continued high ranking and our work is proving to be very essential for the overall health of Lee County
  • We look forward to sharing what has worked well in our community with other counties as part of a statewide effort to build a healthier Florida.
  • While we ranked high overall, this report helps us identify areas where we must work harder specifically in our Physical Environment. We strive to make improvements in this area from our diligent work delivered by our Environmental Health Department.

 

To explore more health indicators in your county, visit www.FLHealthCHARTS.com.

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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