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Lake County Addresses County Health Rankings

By Paul Butler

March 25, 2015


Tavares – The Florida Department of Health in Lake 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
“Integrated community efforts are the foundation of developing healthy outcomes for Lake County residents” said Aaron Kissler, administrator of the Florida Department of Health in Lake County. “The health of each county furthers our goals for becoming the healthiest state in the nation.” 
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 Lake County. These rankings use data related to physical environments, social and economic factors, health behaviors and clinical care.
In Lake 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 smoking prevalence has dropped six percent in the last four years thanks to our Tobacco Prevention Program and community partnerships. For the last couple of years, the Florida Department of Health in Lake has partnered with the Lake County Public Safety and Swimming for Life Swim School for “Water Safety Day” to prevent drowning in our community.  In addition, Healthiest Weight has partnered with “Shared Services Network, Golden Triangle YMCA, Get Fit Lake and United Way of Lake & Sumter County” to promote a healthier lifestyle for our community. We are also collaborating with faith-based organizations such as St. Stephen African Methodist Episcopal Church in Leesburg in order to promote a health ministry.
“The Florida Department of Health has supported our church goals in bringing awareness of health issues in our community to our congregation from diabetes, high blood pressure and colon cancer. They have provided us with tools and resources, which has assisted me as a health coordinator in St. Stephen African Methodist Episcopal Church. I’m looking forward
to our continued partnership in order to accomplish our common mission, which is to bring awareness of health topics through education to parishioners,” said Vera Hart, health coordinator for St. Stephen African Methodist Episcopal Church.
“As a member of Lake Health Partnership, The Community Medical Care Center of Leesburg and its other partner agencies are very proud of the difference we have been able to make in the health status of our uninsured low income patients who otherwise would not have access to primary care homes. I applaud the partners that include the Florida Department of Health in Lake County for their successful efforts related to emergency room diversion, chronic disease management and making a difference in the health of so many. It has been both an honor and a pleasure to work alongside of all the partners while serving those who otherwise would not be able to receive this invaluable care,” said Tamra Halsey, ministry director of Community Medical Care Center.
"It takes a community working together to make changes that enhance the overall health of a county," said Dottie Keedy, community services director for Lake County. “We will continue to work and collaborate with the Florida Department of Health to improve the health outcomes of county residents.”
The department works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.
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