This is the longer original piece with all the links and images that was the genesis for the Florida Times Union commentary.
This past month I had the opportunity to participate during Humana’s half-day Bold Goal launch conference in Jacksonville, Florida (the county seat is Jacksonville and there has been a consolidated government of Duval County since 1968, so some refer to the broader county). The conference had excellent presentations and I was honored to be included with a distinguished group of panelists from the Health Department, hospitals, providers of care and the Duval County Medical Society. It was nice to be involved in an event and try to play a role in improving the health in the community in which I live.
There are other efforts ongoing to improve community health in Jacksonville, including the Clinton Health Matters Initiative, which has focused on solving the hunger issues and a number of hospitals have launched their own efforts as part of the Community Health Assessment and Improvement Plan. While these programs and others in the community may have made some progress, Jacksonville still faces major health issues and our quality measures are poor:
- Major Causes of Death are considerably higher than the State average,
- Of 67 Florida counties, Duval ranks 48th (having fallen from 43rd the prior year) on Health Outcomes, 48th on Length of life, 49th on Quality of Life and 58th on Physical Environment. Yet it ranks 11th on Clinical Care; which just goes to show that one’s health is driven less by the available healthcare system than by the Social Determinants of Health.
Some of the major barriers we face include:
- we tend to say we need more data or another study,
- we have not been very innovative, and
- we have little accountability.
As far as data goes, there are plenty of studies available in addition to those cited above. Here are just a few more interesting ones: Continue reading