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Department of Health Palm Beach County Addresses Health Rankings

By Public Health Communications

March 14, 2018

Palm Beach County, Fla. — The Florida Department of Health in Palm Beach County 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 highlights the many community factors that influence health and uses established data, much of which is available from the department at www.FLHealthCHARTS.com.

"Our engagement with community partners resulted in a four to five-year community health improvement plan also called the CHIP. This plan guides us toward health equity by giving us a good picture of areas needing improvement," said Department of Health Director in Palm Beach County, Dr. Alina Alonso.

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.

Adult obesity reduction is one of the focuses of the CHIP and this year’s rankings show that Palm Beach County continues to improve as 22 percent of its adult population is obese versus the State and Federal level of 26 percent.

Mental and Behavioral Health issues are an area that has begun to yield positive results. Palm Beach County has begun aggressively countering the substance abuse issues by adding more and better comprehensive treatment and engaging all community and mental health partners to work toward a positive outcome.

"Palm Health Care Foundation is proud to support the community health improvement plan and this year implemented the Train the Brain program to improve mental health." Patrick McNamara, President and CEO of Palm Healthcare Foundation, Inc. added, "And we continue to support Let's Move Palm Beach County by encouraging exercise to better health," Palm Beach County has improved to 94 percent the number of its residents with access to exercise opportunities, far above the state average of 87 percent.

The 2018 County Health Rankings in Florida demonstrate that Palm Beach County has continued to be a leader in the state as it ranked eighth for Health Outcomes (How healthy our county currently is) and seventh in Health Factors (how healthy our county might be in the future based on the many factors that influence health). Palm Beach County continues to be a leader among the 67 Florida counties and continues to rank highest among all large population counties of one million or more people.

To explore more health indicators in your county, visit www.FLHealthCHARTS.com. The County Health Rankings & Roadmaps can be found at www.countyhealthrankings.org.

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.

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