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Improving the Health of Our Community
Making Okaloosa County a Healthy Place to Live, Learn, Work and Play


The Healthy Okaloosa Collaborative

In 2011, the Florida Department of Health in Okaloosa County began working in collaboration with more than 40 community agencies to identify priorities for improving the health of our county. The group determined the three most pressing health concerns for Okaloosa County are: Nutrition and Physical Activity, Tobacco Cessation and Access to Care. In 2012, the Healthy Okaloosa Collaborative was formed to establish goals and develop action plans to address each health issue.

Access to Care Work Group

Increasing access to healthcare in Okaloosa County for under-served populations.

To address coordination of care, work group members determined a 2-1-1 service in Okaloosa County would provide access to the necessary information and referral services. Available nationwide, 2-1-1 is a free service for residents and newcomers, such as military families, that is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. This telephone and web-based service connects area residents to local resources to help with a variety of concerns, such as paying a household bill, food assistance, or access to free or reduced-cost prescriptions. This service is provided through a local and regional United Way partnership.


Tobacco Work Group

Decreasing the number of Okaloosa County residents who use or initiate use of tobacco products.

Work group members advocated for a policy change to the Okaloosa County School District’s Tobacco Discipline Policy. Previously, if students were caught using tobacco on school grounds, they were suspended. This policy kept children out of school, causing them to miss classroom instruction and credit for school work. It also did not offer students assistance in tobacco cessation. Through partnership with the Okaloosa County School District, a new policy was enacted for the 2013-2014 school year that requires students to complete an in-school suspension and tobacco cessation course.


Nutrition & Physical Activity Work Group

Promoting the quality of life of youth and adults through physical activity and improved nutrition.

Work group members set out to document all of the free and very low cost physical activity opportunities in Okaloosa County. Members diligently logged more than 100 parks and recreation centers available to area families. The information gathered is being mapped in order to create an interactive database that can be shared with the community through our partners’ websites, giving families easy access to affordable physical activity information.


Thank You

To the community members who have participated in work groups to make Okaloosa a healthier place to live, learn, work and play.

Career Source Okaloosa Walton

City of Destin

Crossroads Center Medical Clinic

Danz Fit Studio

Early Learning Coalition of Okaloosa and Walton

Eglin Air Force Base

Fort Walton Beach Medical Center

Family of Faith Christian Church

Florida Department of Corrections

FDOH – Children’s Medical Services

Fort Walton Beach Medical Center

Fort Walton Beach Parks & Recreation

Healthy Start Community Coalition of Okaloosa & Walton Counties

Health Source of Fort Walton Beach

Hope Medical Clinic

Hurlburt Field

Mental Health Association of Okaloosa & Walton

North Florida Medical Center, Inc.

North Okaloosa Medical Center

Northwest Florida State College

Okaloosa Board of County Commissioners

Okaloosa County Department of Public Safety

Okaloosa County School District

United Way of Okaloosa & Walton Counties

West Florida AHEC

YMCA of the Emerald Coast


Join the Movement...

Make a difference by joining DOH-Okaloosa and our partners to continue the work to improve the health of our county. For more information about the Healthy Okaloosa Collaborative, call the Healthy Okaloosa Coordinator, Katie Cholcher at (850) 833-9240, ext. 2387.

Community Health Improvement Planning
Public health is about many things – health behaviors, primary and preventive care, access to services, deaths and births, populations at particular risk, life expectancy reports of health, and environmental health. Public health is what we, as a community, do to ensure that conditions exist that promote health. It is not only about the absence of illness, but about the presence of conditions that promote physical, mental, and emotional well-being for everyone in the community to the greatest extent possible within available resources.

Community health needs assessment has a central part to play by enabling community partners and policy-makers to identify the most pressing health care needs in our community, to ensure that health care resources are used to maximize health improvement and to encourage dialogue about actions that can be taken to improve our community’s health.

Communities must collectively take action to ensure that citizens remain healthy. One organization or entity alone cannot do this task. These assessments were designed not only for public health professionals but also for members of the community who are interested in improving the health of our community.

These four assessments are for our community partners so that we can mobilize together to identify strategic health priorities, establish goals, and develop action plans for a "healthier Okaloosa."


COMMUNITY HEALTH STATUS ASSESSMENT  This assessment answers the questions, how healthy are our residents, and what does the health status of our community look like.

The Health of Okaloosa County:  A Status Report 2011
(View entire document)

•  Executive Summary & Introduction
•  Population Characteristics
•  Socio-Economic Characteristics
•  Quality of Life and Health Behaviors
•  Health Care Resources
•  Overall Health Status
•  Risky Youth Behaviors
•  Death Indicators
•  Cancer Deaths
•  Heart Diseases
•  Chronic Lower Respiratory Diseases
•  Stroke
•  Unintentional Injuries
•  Non-Fatal Unintentional Injuries Requiring an Emergency Room Visit
•  Communicable Diseases
•  Maternal and Child Health
•  Vaccine-Preventable Diseases
•  Environmental Health
•  Conclusion

This assessment answers the question, what are the components, activities, competencies, and capacities of our local public health system.

Performance Assessment 2011
(View entire document)

•  Explanation of the National Public Health Performance Standards Program (NPHPSP) Report of Results
•  Performance Assessment Instrument Results
•  Priority Rating Results & Agency Contribution Results
•  Appendix:  Resources for Next Steps
FORCES OF CHANGE ASSESSMENT This assessment answers the following questions, what is occurring or might occur that affects the health of our community, and what specific threats or opportunities are generated by these occurrences.

Forces of Change 2011


COMMUNITY THEMES AND STRENGTHS ASSESSMENT  This assessment answers the questions, what is important to our community, and what are important issues that must be addressed to improve the health and quality of life in our community.

Community Themes and Strengths Assessment:  What Makes A Healthy Okaloosa 2011-2012
The Economic Impact of High Risk Health Behaviors in Okaloosa County 6/2011 - This report looks at the impact of high risk health behaviors on the Okaloosa County economy. In summary, the report found that current levels of lost productivity in the Okaloosa County workforce due to the effects of high risk health behaviors equates in economic impact terms to the loss in the Okaloosa County economy of 470 jobs and nearly $170 million in GDP.




  This page was updated on 3-Jun-14

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