St. Lucie County Health Rankings
March 25, 2015
FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH IN
ST. LUCIE COUNTY ADDRESSES COUNTY HEALTH RANKINGS
(St. Lucie) – The Florida Department of Health in St. Lucie 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.
“We have a history of strong partnerships and collaborations through our work with the Roundtable of St. Lucie County, Children’s Services Council, the school district, Health Access Network (HANDS) and the Tobacco Free Partnership. Together, we have influenced residents to have healthier lifestyle choices, increased access to health care, continued to reduce teen births and lowered the rate of tobacco use,” said Interim Administrator Clint Sperber.
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 St. Lucie County. These rankings use data related to physical environments, social and economic factors, health behaviors and clinical care.
In St. Lucie 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. Programs and initiatives specific to our county include the HANDS primary care clinic for low income uninsured adults, pediatric dental program to improve children’s oral health and Restoring the Village to address violent crime.Sean Boyle, executive director of the Children’s Services Council of St. Lucie County, said, "We are fortunate to have strong leadership on all levels, including our health department, which continues to make our community and its families a priority. We will continue to work together to see even further reductions in the rate of uninsured children, infant mortality, immunizations and teen births, as well as focus on our most pressing needs." “As a medical doctor and the CEO of the Florida Community Health Centers, I understand health care, the need to collaborate and comprehensively address our issues collectively for better health outcomes,” said Dr. Michael Gervasi. “It is still a concern that we continue to rank in the lower third quartile of Florida counties in social and economic factors because we’re only as healthy as the weakest part of our community; we have to feel safe first—the Roundtable of St. Lucie County is implementing an anti-gang model in hopes of moving us to a better light. The perception of crime in northwest Fort Pierce, in particular, is a serious damper on outside investment and that affects all of us. However, I see a lot of positive indicators that show our overall economic health improving,” said Howard Tipton, St. Lucie County administrator.
###The department works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.
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