GREEN COVE SPRINGS -- The Florida Department of Health in Clay County is acknowledging National Public Health Week. NPHW presents an opportunity for communities across the U.S. to reflect on the contributions of public health and highlight issues that are important to improving our health.
Public health professionals across Clay County make it their life’s work to help keep people and communities healthy – from better maternal and child health to improvements in disease control and prevention to addressing environmental concerns and emergency preparedness.
“Educating our residents on healthy lifestyles encourages our community to become strong, active members of society,” says Heather Huffman, Health Officer for DOH-Clay. “Our public health responsibility is to protect, promote and improve the health of Clay County residents. We strive to be the “Healthiest State in the Nation” and that starts in our own backyard. Public Health has a long history of creating change in communities; our focus is on our population and creating a healthy environment for the next generation to grow and sustain healthier lives than the previous generation. Let’s work together in this; You are the Way to a Healthier Clay.”
“The Florida Department of Health in Clay County works diligently to provide the residents of Clay County with health education and services to improve the health of all. They value partnerships with many organizations and use these resources to bring even more opportunities and support to Clay County,” said Candance Osteen of the QuitDoc Foundation.
In Clay County, the Community Health Improvement Plan 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 Florida Department of Health in Clay County has recently completed a three-year cycle of the CHIP and through community partnerships has implemented activities that strengthen the ability of community members to live healthier lives. DOH-Clay completed the PACE EH (Protocol for Accessing Community Excellence in Environmental Health) application in 2018 and implemented two action plans with priority areas including: Smart Planning/Development/Transportation and Trash/Litter/Evidence of Substance Use. Understanding what the environmental health of a community looks like can help lead policy
decisions on road development and enforcement of keeping the parks and streets clean of debris.
Community involvement and partnerships are key to creating a healthy mental environment in Clay County. By identifying leaders and advocates willing to participate in behavioral health
initiatives and outreach activities, we continue to expand the awareness of and access to those health needs and services for adults, youth, and families.