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FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH IN COLLIER COUNTY ADDRESSES COUNTY HEALTH RANKINGS

By Andrea McKinney

March 14, 2018

Collier County, Fla. — For the fifth year in a row, Collier County has been ranked the second healthiest county in Florida. The Florida Department of Health in Collier County (DOH-Collier) 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 uses established data to highlight the many community factors that influence health, much of which is available from the department at www.FLHealthCHARTS.com.

“Our rankings are a result of the community making healthy changes in their lives”, says Stephanie Vick, Administrator for the Florida Department of Health in Collier County.  “The decisions our residents make to quit smoking, eat more fruits and vegetables, increase physical activity, and put safety first, along with the dedicated work of a variety of stakeholders, impacts the health of our entire community.  We will continue to work towards making Collier County the healthiest county in the state to live, learn, work and play.”

Dr. Allen Weiss, President and CEO of the NCH Healthcare System, states, “Collier County is now the healthiest and happiest metropolitan statistical area (MSA) for the third year in a row according to the Gallop-Sharecare poll and also has the longest life expectancy in our nation. The current statewide ranking is congruent with our other outstanding metrics.  Our goal is to continue to have everyone live a longer, happier, and healthier life.”

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 with many community partners. DOH-Collier 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 Collier County. These rankings use data related to physical environments, social and economic factors, health behaviors and clinical care.

Our high ranking reflects our attention to the many factors that affect residents’ health and our emphasis on sustaining our programs as we work to stay healthy. For example, DOH-Collier’s Healthy Start program partnered with the Healthcare Network of Southwest Florida and the Early Childcare Network to increase participation in a curriculum-based health education class for prenatal Haitian women to address the disparity of infant mortality in this population. The NCH Safe and Healthy Children’s Coalition expanded the Life Jacket Loaner Program with the assistance of the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, making loaner life jackets available at 15 popular beach/lake sites for children and adults to borrow and return.  The DOH-Collier School Health program worked closely with Collier County Public School nurses to standardize the vision screening and reporting process, resulting in increased vision screenings reported by nurses by over 300%. In pursuit of healthier playing environments for Collier County’s youngest residents, the Tobacco Free Collier Partnership and the Blue Zones Project worked closely with Collier County Parks and Recreation to place suggestive smoke-free signs near playgrounds and ball fields at Parks and Recreation facilities. Also, the City of Naples is working to place suggestive smoke-free signs at our beaches. 

Examples such as these reflect the value of the data in the county health rankings and the commitment of Collier County community leaders, who will continue to address specific opportunities for improved health outcomes for our residents.  Through the Community Health Improvement Plan, collaborators like Collier County Public Schools, NCH Healthcare System, David Lawrence Center, Blue Zones Project, Healthcare Network of Southwest Florida, Collier County Parks and Recreation and many others, work collaboratively to address issues related to the overall health of the community.

To view the County Health Rankings, visit www.countyhealthrankings.org. To explore more health indicators in your county, visit www.FLHealthCHARTS.com.

About the Florida Department of Health

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov.