May 21, 2013

The Health First Network Management Team, Richard Tuten, Dr. William Whibbs, Jenny Caillouet and Pat Ast recently attended a community forum, the Community Health Summit, an initiative sponsored by the Partnership for a Healthy Community.

The Mission of the Partnership for a Healthy Community is to periodically conduct comprehensive health status assessments, and to advance, support or promote collaborative initiatives to improve health and quality of life for residents of Escambia County and Santa Rosa County in Northwest Florida.

Community leaders in healthcare, education, economics, and research, came together to discuss findings from the 2012 assessment and to discuss initiatives to address concerns in key areas. Among the facts learned were the following:
1.) The United States ranks at or near the bottom among the world’s 17 developed nations in key areas of health.

2.) Florida ranks in the bottom third of U.S. state in key indexes of health and well-being.

3.) Based on 230+ health indicators, results for Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties do not compare favorably with those for peer counties (most similar demographically/socio-economically) of the State of Florida as a whole, and the magnitude of difference is cause for public concern.
4.) Escambia County ranks 55th in overall health among Florida’s 67 counties and the Escambia/Santa Rosa last among the state’s 17 Metropolitan Statistical Areas.

A take-away from the Summit was the realization that Community leaders are committed to address these issues to build a healthier community and a healthier economy for residents.

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