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FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH IN PALM BEACH COUNTY HEALTH RANKINGS

By Public Health Communications

March 16, 2016

Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach 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.

"We are always reviewing our Community Health Improvement Plan and encouraging all to improve their health and adopt a healthy lifestyle," said Dr. Alina Alonso, Director of Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County. "With help from our community partners and as these health rankings indicate, we continue to improve health outcomes in Palm Beach County making it a healthy place to live, work and play."

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

In Palm Beach 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. Many municipalities have adopted the Healthiest Weight Initiative by improving parks, adding walking paths and adding public use outdoor exercise equipment. Other initiatives have included the Let’s Move Campaign and 5-2-1-0 Let’s Go. Both programs encourage a balance of exercise and diet. The rankings indicate that these combined efforts resulted in 98% of residents having access to exercise opportunities.

In February the State Surgeon General named the City of Delray Beach a Healthiest Weight Community. This community recognition serves to thank communities for their efforts to improve the health of all Floridians.

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.

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