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Florida Department of Health in Madison County addresses county health rankings

The Florida Department of Health in Madison 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 “With the release of the County Health Rankings, it is a great opportunity to educate our community to help raise awareness about the many factors that influence how long and how well we live,” said Kimberly Allbritton, Madison County administrator. “Much of what influences our health happens outside the doctor’s office. The health of our community depends on many different factors such as the environment, education, jobs, access to quality health care and individual behaviors.” 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 Madison County. These rankings use data related to physical environments, social and economic factors, health behaviors and clinical care. In Madison 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. The Madison County School District demonstrates its commitment to the health and well-being of its students by allowing health educators from the Department of Health in Madison County to conduct evidence-based Sexual Risk Avoidance classes. The classes have helped decrease STD rates and helped improve graduation rates. The Department of Health in Madison County recognizes the many health and social benefits of father involvement during childhood. Madison Kiwanis purchased fatherhood curriculum that has allowed Department of Health in Madison County employees to engage and educate fathers and fathers-to-be for the last five years. During this period, the county has experienced a decline in the number of children living in single parent households. “Our local health department has been very responsive to our requests for assistance and their staff demonstrates great concern for our students in providing respectful, engaging services that have long-term impact,” said Doug Brown, superintendent, District School Board of Madison County. “As a former Chamber of Commerce director and as a current business owner, I place great value in building trusting, mutually beneficial relationships. Throughout years of partnering with the Department of Health in Jefferson and Madison I have experienced great dedication and have always been treated as an equal team member,” said Cindy Vees, founder, Cindy Vees & Associates, Public Relations and Marketing Consultants. “I see our local Department of Health staff in action at the schools, in our churches and at almost all our local activities. I’m grateful for their expertise and commitment to our community,” said Marcus Hawkins, pastor, Shiloh Missionary Baptist Church, Madison City Commissioner.

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