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FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH IN ESCAMBIA COUNTY ADDRESSES COUNTY HEALTH RANKINGS

By FDOH-Escambia

March 14, 2018

Pensacola, Fla. – The Florida Department of Health in Escambia County (FDOH-Escambia) recognizes the value in measuring health outcomes and today acknowledged the 2018 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps tool released by the University of Wisconsin and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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. These rankings use data related to physical environments, social and economic factors, health behaviors and clinical care.

“We have been monitoring the annual reports since the first rankings for Florida counties were published in 2010, and are happy to see Escambia County rise in this year’s evaluation.” says FDOH-Escambia Director Dr. John Lanza. “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.”

FDOH-Escambia has partnered with other local organizations to implement the CHIP and collaborates regularly to track progress. Initiatives tied to the 2016 CHIP include: collaborating with worksites, physician 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.

Escambia County’s next CHIP is planned for publication in 2019. A Community Health Assessment (CHA) is currently in progress to help identify the strengths and weaknesses that impact our community’s health. The CHA is the first step in developing a Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). Information for use in the 2018 CHA is being collected through a brief survey, which can be taken by anyone in Escambia County, Florida. Persons wishing to participate in the CHA survey, can access it at EscambiaHealth.com.

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

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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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