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FDOH in St Lucie County Addresses County Health Rankings

By Arlease Hall

March 29, 2017

St. Lucie County, FL — The Florida Department of Health in St. Lucie County recognizes the value in measuring health outcomes and today acknowledged the 2017 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 Florida Charts.

St. Lucie ranked 31 out of 67 counties for health outcomes and health factors. The most notable improvement is in the Social and Economic Factors, moving from a ranking of 51 in last year’s report to 39 in the present report. “This improvement is attributed to more children graduating from high school, lower unemployment rates and reduction in violent crime. We understand that integrated community efforts are the foundation for developing a healthy community,” said Clint Sperber, County Health Officer for the Florida Department of Health in St. Lucie County.

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.

“St. Lucie County Board of County Commissioners understands that a strong public health system is the cornerstone for a healthy community. We also recognize a strong healthy community is a great value to building a strong economy,” said Chris Dzadovsky, the commission’s chair.

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.

Last week the Florida Department of Health celebrated a one year milestone as the first integrated department of health in the nation to achieve national accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board. Public health departments play a critical role in protecting and improving the health of people and communities. The seal of accreditation signifies that the Florida Department of Health has been rigorously examined and meets or exceeds national standards that promote continuous quality improvement for public health.