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How Healthy Are Residents In Pinellas County?

How Healthy Are Residents In Pinellas County?

St. Petersburg, Fla. (970 WFLA) - How healthy are the people of Pinellas County? How can community agencies work together to make the county a better place to live, work and play?

Questions like those drove the development of the 2012 Pinellas County Community Health Assessment just released by the Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County. The report is the result of more than a year of data analysis that included compiling statistics from a number of agencies and asking residents about their health and the health of their community.

"Community engagement was essential to provide a comprehensive view of health and quality of life in Pinellas," said Claude M. Dharamraj, MD, MPH, FAAP, Director of the Pinellas County Health Department. "We found that we exceeded expectations in some areas and need work in others."

The assessment brought together nearly 70 community figures from more than 30 agencies to provide a look at the state of the county's health and the challenges ahead. More than 800 residents provided their input on a survey measuring how they feel about Pinellas as a place to live.

The Community Health Assessment's executive summary and the full report are available as PDF's at the health department's website, www.PinellasHealth.com (a limited number of hard copies are also available). Here are some highlights:

*    16 percent of Pinellas adults could not afford to see a doctor in 2010.
*    Two-thirds of Pinellas adults are overweight or obese and 37 percent of
Pinellas high school students did not get enough vigorous physical activity in 2010.
*    Cancer and cardiovascular disease were the leading causes of death in
Pinellas in 2011.
*    19 percent of Pinellas adults reported smoking in 2010.
*    In 2010, 153 Pinellas babies were born addicted to prescription or illegal drugs, a sharp increase from 22 just five years earlier.

The Florida Department of Health in Pinellas County has assembled a Community Health Action Team that's developing strategies for a 2013-2017 Community Health Improvement Plan that should be completed by July 1.

For information about the Pinellas County Health Department, go to www.PinellasHealth.com.

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