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Florida Department of Health in Martin County Addresses County Health Rankings

By Todd Reinhold

March 16, 2016

The Florida Department of Health in Martin County recognizes the value in measuring health outcomes and today acknowledged the 2016 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.

“Partnerships make the difference in bringing about change. We are fortunate in Martin County to have many partners actively in engaged and focused on health. These partners, including the United Way Health Task Force, are now working together on a Community Health Improvement Plan to ensure that our community will continue support the factors that affect health.” said Karlette Peck, Health Officer for the Florida Department of Health in Martin 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 Martin County. These rankings use data related to physical environments, social and economic factors, health behaviors and clinical care.

In Martin 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 Focus areas of the CHIP include promoting the importance and value of School Health, promoting awareness of the 2-1-1 information and referral line and increasing opportunities for physical activity and access to healthy foods to reduce obesity. The CHIP can be viewed here : www.MartinCountyHealth.com

“The United Way Health Task Force is promoting behaviors that help children and adults make positive lifestyle choices such as incorporating healthy eating choices into daily routines, increasing exercise and movement, drinking more water and non-fat milk, and limiting recreational screen time. Implementing these strategies will ensure that Martin County can maintain or improve its high overall County Health Ranking. The work of the Task Force relies on community partnerships to achieve the desired goals. Together we can do more than each of us can do alone.” said Jim Vojcsik, President and CEO of the United Way of Martin County.

“The Children’s Services Council of Martin County is proud to work with the Florida Department of Health in Martin County and other community partners to improve the health and the healthy behaviors of our county’s children and their families.  Martin County’s focus on oral health prevention programs and on achieving a healthy weight are examples of collective impact in our community.” said David Heaton, Executive Director, of the Children’s Services Council in Martin County.

Last week, the Florida Department of Health became 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.