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DOH-Pinellas Addresses County Health Rankings

By Maggie Hall, PIO - Contact Number: 727-824-6908

March 16, 2016


The Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County (DOH-Pinellas) recognizes the value in measuring health outcomes and today acknowledged the 2016 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

“We are continuing our efforts to improve the health of all people in Pinellas,” said Dr. Ulyee Choe, DOH-Pinellas’ director. “Health outcomes and longevity have improved since 2015, but there are clearly many areas that we continue to work on, most notably in health behaviors and in the socioeconomic factors that affect health.”

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, faithbased organizations and many other stakeholders to improve the health of all people in Pinellas. These rankings use data related to physical environments, social and economic factors, health
behaviors and clinical care.

“The Board of County Commissioners is united in supporting efforts to make Pinellas a great place to live, work and visit for all people,” said Charlie Justice, the commission’s chair. “We recognize the role that one’s behavior plays in affecting health and support a great quality of life for all residents.”

In Pinellas, 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. Increased access to dental care and behavioral health services are among the initiatives in the DOH-Pinellas CHIP.

“Pinellas County works with DOH-Pinellas on important health initiatives in primary care, dental health and behavioral services,” said Lourdes Benedict, director of Pinellas County Health & Human Services. “Community health can only be addressed when there are strong partnerships such as ours.”

Last week, the Florida Department of Health became the first integrated department of health in the nation to achieve national accreditation through the Public Health Accreditation Board. Public health departments play a critical role in protecting and improving the health of people and communities. The seal of accreditation signifies that the Florida Department of Health has been rigorously examined and meets or exceeds national standards that promote continuous quality improvement for public health.

For information about DOH-Pinellas, go to or call (727) 824-6900.

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 Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit

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