Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Florida Dept. of Health in Franklin Co. Addresses County Health Rankings


APALACHICOLA – The Florida Department of Health in Franklin 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 promotion of Florida’s health begins at the community level,” said Marsha Lindeman, administrator of the Florida Department of Health in Franklin County. “Franklin County is fortunate to have a broad spectrum of partners in government, education, business and civic organizations that will help us in our efforts to achieve opportunities for better health in our area.”

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 Franklin County. These rankings use data related to physical environments, social and economic factors, health behaviors and clinical care.

In Franklin County, the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) is designed to address specific opportunities for improved health outcomes that have been identified by the community. The department has partnered with many stakeholders to implement the CHIP and collaborates regularly to track progress. CHIP partners currently meet monthly to focus on health initiatives, which include community diabetic screening initiatives, healthy food cooking demonstrations, access to oral health-care and substance abuse prevention.

“The Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) was created by community partners with goals to reduce diabetes, increase the number of adults who are at a healthy weight and increase access to oral health care. As a faith-based community partner, I am proud of the collaboration of grassroots organizations, businesses, healthcare agencies and governmental entities to improve the health of Franklin County,” said Harolyn Walker, pastor of Covenant Word Christian Center International.

“We are very excited about the opportunity and collaborative effort to implement healthy cooking demonstrations in local grocery outlets and faith-based organizations as designed in our CHIP,” said Talitha Robinson, health educator consultant for Gulf and Franklin counties. “Our focus is to help highlight the affordable, healthy food options available and to encourage individuals and families to incorporate more fruits and vegetables in their meals.”

“CHIP is a coordinated effort of our local health service providers and grassroots organizations whose main goal is to make a noticeable and lasting impact in the quality of health for citizens in our county,” said Gina Moore, Franklin County Tobacco Prevention Coordinator for the Florida Department of Health in Franklin County. 

The department works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.