Nassau County Department of Health
Contact: [email protected]
April 7, 2020
” The key area that affected overall decline in ranking was health behaviors, which dropped from 16th (2019) to 29th (2020). Factors which may have contributed to the change include the adult smoking rate change from 16% (2019) to 19% (2020), and the drug overdose death rate of 23 to 26 (per 100,000). Other notable measures in which the Nassau County rate exceeds the state rate includes: alcohol impaired driving deaths (32% vs. 23%), firearm fatalities (20% vs.13%) and teen births (25% vs. 21%).” Dept of Health
The Florida Department of Health recognizes Public Health week this year in a very different manner. The COVID-19 pandemic has reminded each of us of the importance of our own health, the need for public health professionals and a robust medical care system. For decades, public health workers have been key in the containment of emerging pandemics — perhaps most notably — the worldwide eradication of smallpox starting in the early to mid-1960s. Public health officials led the U.S. and worldwide efforts that resulted in smallpox becoming the first human disease ever eradicated from the face of the earth. Public health workers are once again leading the cause to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Nassau County has a seasoned team led by health department director Dr. Eugenia NgoSeidel, with supporting nurses, epidemiologists and other professional public health staff. The agency is working tirelessly to respond to COVID-19. The epidemiology team is coordinating containment efforts including testing and contact tracing to minimize spread of the virus. These epidemiologists use the science of “disease investigation” to identify COVID-19 cases. Other health education and communication staff are working with Emergency Management and other partners to promote community mitigation messages and especially stay home when ill. Mission-critical public health services have been altered in their form of delivery to assure residents still get their needs met. For example, the WIC program now includes pick up services from your car. As an agency FDOH Nassau County Health Department strives for the community to be free from illness/disease and to live healthy, long lives.
In thinking about our community’s health, the FDOH recognizes the recent release (March 27th) of new health rankings from the University of Wisconsin and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The County Health Rankings uses traditional, common data, much of which was obtained from the Department and is available at www.FLHealthCHARTS.com. The Rankings show us there are many influences on health: economic, social, behavioral, environmental, and clinical care factors. Health is everyone’s business, including employers, educators and urban planners, so all stakeholders in a community must work together to improve health.
The Rankings measures include two main categories: Health Outcomes and Health Factors. Health Outcomes use length of life and quality of life as standard measurements to describe a community’s health. Health Factors are indicators that help determine our future health (i.e., factors that can ultimately make us sick or lead to an early death). The Rankings can reveal strengths and obstacles to health and can give focus and direction to help make Nassau County a healthier place to live.
The data this past year revealed areas of improvement and opportunities for our community to make improvements. The results of the 2020 County Health Rankings report show how Nassau County ranks among all Florida counties – overall 33rd of Florida’s 67 counties. The Rankings show that Nassau County remains strongest in one of the two main categories, Health Factors, where it ranks 9th in the state. Nassau County rankings improved from 2019 to 2020 in three areas: health outcomes (36 to 33), length of life (44 to 39), and quality of life (24 to 12). This is good news as again is future focused and demonstrates great hope for the health of our community.
The key area that affected overall decline in ranking was health behaviors, which dropped from 16th (2019) to 29th (2020). Factors which may have contributed to the change include the adult smoking rate change from 16% (2019) to 19% (2020), and the drug overdose death rate of 23 to 26 (per 100,000). Other notable measures in which the Nassau County rate exceeds the state rate includes: alcohol impaired driving deaths (32% vs. 23%), firearm fatalities (20% vs.13%) and teen births (25% vs. 21%).
To address the decline in the health behaviors category, we utilize the Partnership for Healthier
Nassau planning team. This planning committee facilitates the Nassau Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) which works to improve health for our all who live and work here. On January 30, 2020 the 2nd Annual CHIP Health Summit was held at the FSCJ campus in Yulee. This meeting included updates on initiatives, action steps and health focused networking. By joining CHIP efforts, you can be a part of our success story and see health improve in our community.
The Florida Department of Health in Nassau County works in collaboration with local governments, non-profit organizations, health care facilities, business groups, schools, faithbased organizations and many other stakeholders to improve the health of all people in Nassau County. By utilizing our current strengths and focusing efforts on today’s protective messaging, we will move beyond the COVID virus. We will use incorporate this experience into future planning and preparation. We will see a tomorrow of renewed health, hope and partnership. Health is everyone’s responsibility. Working together, everyone can make Nassau County a healthier place to live, learn, work and play.
To learn more about your local health department or the CHIP call Mary von Mohr at 904-5579133. To explore more health indicators in your county, visit www.FLHealthCHARTS.com.
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.
Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @HealthyFla. For more information about the Florida Department of Health, please visit www.FloridaHealth.gov .