Community Health Assessment Palm Beach County
March 21, 2017
PALM BEACH COUNTY, FL-- The just released Community Health Assessment (CHA) for Palm Beach County, a systematic method of identifying unmet health care and human service needs and possible interventions, is a collaboration between the Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County, the Health Care District of Palm Beach County, and over 40 community partner organizations.
The CHA was last completed in 2012, and was followed by a Community Health Improvement Plan. That plan resulted in success at improving the health of our community in several areas, including:
- The percentage of youth in the county who drank a can, bottle, or glass of soda or pop one or more times per day dropped from 24.6% to 15.6%, significantly below our target of 22.1%.
- The percentage of WIC infants who are ever breastfed rose from 71.9% to 80.6%.
- The percentage of youth who watched television three or more hours per day (on an average school day) dropped from 37.9% to 26%, significantly below the plan’s target of 34.1%.
- Palm Beach County’s uninsured rate dropped yet again, from 16.3% to 13.1%, below the plan’s target of 15.3%.
- The percentage of middle and high school students in Palm Beach County who report using alcohol or any illicit drug in the past 30 days dropped from 36.6% to 25%. Again, well below the plan’s target of 34%.
Following on the successes of the Community Health Improvement Plan, the latest assessment will allow the community to develop a new plan that reflects the current needs of our community.
“The Community Health Assessment gives us an excellent picture of the overall health of our community,” said Dr. Alina Alonso, Director, DOH-Palm Beach. “This information directs us to areas needing improvements that, through a community effort, build on our previous successes and will be the focus for action over the next several years.”
The new CHA includes secondary data from national, state, and local sources; primary data that encompasses the community's perspective, including the results of 14 focus groups; and identifies areas of success along with areas needing additional efforts.
Palm Beach County is faced with the challenge of balancing resident's access to quality health and human services with decreasing resources and increasing demand. By understanding the needs of the community, working collaboratively, and focusing efforts, resources can be focused to more effectively improve the health of our residents. The complete 2016 Palm Beach Community Health Assessment can be accessed at Community Health Assessment.