This press release put out at the request of the Alachua County Health Department.
ALACHUA COUNTY, FL – The Florida Department of Health in Alachua County recognizes the value in measuring health outcomes and today acknowledged the Sixth Annual 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.floridacharts.com.
“The Alachua County Health Department collaborates with numerous community partners to improve the health of all county residents and visitors,” stated Paul Myers, Administrator of the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County. “Efforts focused on healthiest weight, emergency preparedness, communicable disease control, access to care and environmental factors energize our daily quest in making Florida the healthiest state in the nation.”
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 involving 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 Alachua County. These rankings use data related to physical environments, social and economic factors, health behaviors, and clinical care.
In Alachua 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. FDOH-Alachua’s disease management and emergency room diversion projects with UF Health have improved CHIP measures associated with these identified challenges. The control of influenza through the school-located influenza vaccination program, locally known as the FLUMIST Program, in concert with the Alachua County Schoolboard, various University of Florida colleges and multiple community partners has demonstrated a reduction in flu-related illnesses, deaths and healthcare costs. Access to care has been improved in partnership with the Alachua County Board of County Commissioners, specifically in underserved county populations.
“The Alachua County Board of County Commissioners views our community health as a priority and directs resources to ensure public health is supported,” stated Charles “Chuck” Chestnut, Alachua County Board of County Commissioners Chair. “Our efforts toward improving our built and natural environment, in addition to our partnership with the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County, serve as a testament to our commitment to improving the health of everyone in our County.”
“UF Health works with many community partners in Alachua County, North Central Florida and the State of Florida to improve health, increase access to care and ensure proper use of hospital resources,” said Dr. David S. Guzick, M.D., Ph.D., Senior Vice President for Health Affairs at UF and president of UF Health. “Our collaboration with the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County reflects our collective daily efforts to control communicable diseases.”
“The School Board of Alachua County recognizes the role that student health plays in scholastic performance and devotes significant resources to ensure health issues are appropriately addressed,” stated Dr. Owen Roberts, Superintendent of Alachua County Public Schools. “Our school nurses and collaborations with the Florida Department of Health in Alachua County manage chronic and communicable disease issues on a daily basis and provide health screenings that identify manageable conditions that have been shown to have a direct correlation to student achievement.”
To view the Annual County Health Rankings data for Alachua and all other counties in the United States, visit countyhealthrankings.org.
For more information, contact Roger Dolz at 352-334-8873.