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FDOH- St. Lucie Addresses County Health Rankings

By Arlease Hall

March 14, 2018

The Florida Department of Health in St. Lucie County 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. This study highlights the many community factors that influence health and uses established data, much of which is available from the department at http://www.flhealthcharts.com/.

“The County Health Rankings contain 35 measures used to calculate how St. Lucie ranks across the State of Florida relative to the health measures in the reports.  This year it is quite evident, that St. Lucie has seen progress where we have moved from the third quartile to the second quartile regarding our health outcomes and quality of life for our residents.  It’s a collective impact that has fueled the momentum among our partners, and it is essential that we continue to work together on strategies to reach shared goals,” said Clint Sperber, Health Officer and Administrator of 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.

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. Under the direction of Healthy St. Lucie, Inc., we have developed plans and activities that are improving the health of the county.  Some of these activities include the 2018 Billion Step Challenge to increase physical activity and reduce obesity, the Baby Steps Baby Friendly initiative to increase breastfeeding among new mothers giving births in our hospitals, the Safety Village program to improve injury prevention efforts, the Fetal Infant Mortality Review initiative to decrease infant mortality, and Tobacco Cessation Action Plan and Students Working Against Tobacco to decrease smoking rates in St. Lucie County.

“There are areas of progress, and we are reaping the rewards of many of our long-standing partnerships and support of countywide health initiatives with numerous agencies, including government, faith-based organizations and community non-profits. Together we have made great strides; I am confident we will continue our forward movement in a positive direction,” said St. Lucie County Commission Chair, Frannie Hutchinson.

To explore more health indicators in your county, visit http://www.flhealthcharts.com/.