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Health Department News Articles

It’s Hurricane Season Again

Where did the time go? We are back in Hurricane Season. We all hope that we do not get any storms that come our way. However, it is only a matter of time before we get hit again. We all remember Tropical Storm Debby, but do you remember that Tropical Storm Andrea brought 1.5 to 4 inches of rainfall with isolated higher amounts between June 6 and 7, 2013.  We all need to be preparing for the next one.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released its 2014 Atlantic Hurricane Season forecast. This year NOAA officials expect about eight to thirteen named tropical storms and three to six hurricanes, with just one or two that may be major - winds over 110 MPH. The seasonal average is around 12 named storms, six hurricanes, and three major hurricanes.

The National Hurricane Center advises preparedness:

  • A hurricane watch indicates the possibility that a region could experience hurricane conditions within 48 hours.

  • A hurricane warning indicates that sustained winds of at least 74 MPH are expected within 36 hours.

Everyone needs to keep themselves healthy by eating right, exercising, keeping their immunizations current, and having routine periodic physicals. Everyone also needs to have a family disaster plan. One of the easiest is an online version at You can create your plan, save it online, and go back and update it as things change.

Create a family disaster supply kit with food items that will not spoil, water (rotated every six months), flashlights with batteries, weather radio, an "old" telephone that doesn’t need electricity or batteries to operate, manual can opener, important documents, medication, and emergency money (ATMs and banks may not work or be closed) etc. It is also important to keep your vehicle maintained and your fuel tank filled to at least 50 percent with fuel. If an event is expected, keep your vehicle as close to 100 percent as possible.

For an archive of all of our previous articles, please see our Archive Page.


The Florida Department of Health in Suwannee County announces Biggest Loser Competition.

The Biggest Loser Suwannee Competition will begin the week of April 21 and end August 1, 2014. Teams are currently being formed among participating agencies in our county. Each business will designate a Team Captain who will conduct weekly weigh-ins for team participants. Each Team Captain will identify a winner at the end of the 14-week competition based on the greatest percentage of weight lost. There will be two categories of winners for this event: 1) One individual for each team who loses the greatest percentage of weight; and 2) the team that loses the greatest total number of pounds as a team. Individual winners will be awarded a $50 gift card and the winning team will receive a group prize to be announced at a later date.

Live Oak City Hall was one of the first groups to sign up in Live Oak for the Biggest Loser Suwannee Competition. The competition will encourage healthy food choices and increased exercise among participants. Each participant will receive a pedometer to track activity in steps (miles) per day and the number of calories burned!

This project is being coordinated by Robert Wolfe through a grant with the Florida Department of Health in Suwannee County. This grant supports the efforts of the Suwannee Health Advisory Group (SHAG) to improve the health of Suwannee County residents. SHAG has implemented a community health improvement plan that includes activities to increase physical activity and improve nutrition and achieve a healthy weight.

"Our ancestors didn’t have to count calories…they did physical chores each day, said Robert Wolfe, Biggest Loser Suwannee Coordinator." "This burned all the calories they consumed. The advance of technology has turned us to an inactive society. Our bodies were meant to be active…simple exercise can reduce the risk of heart disease, cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes and many other diseases."

So after lunch get up and walk around the block. You will not only feel better and be more alert for the rest of the day…but you will also be burning calories!!! Get up and get started…

Eat well, exercise, live long and prosper

For an archive of all of our previous articles, please see our Archive Page.


Health Department Press Releases


Contact: DOH-Suwannee (386) 362-2708


Live Oak – The Florida Department of Health in Suwannee County recognizes the value in measuring health outcomes and today acknowledged the 5th annual 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

"The Florida Department of Health in Suwannee County recognizes the importance of working with community partners to address the health of our community," said Pamela Blackmon, Administrator, Florida Department of Health in Suwannee County. "I am pleased to report that our community has an active health improvement partnership working on improving the community’s 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, faith-based organizations and many other stakeholders to improve the health of all people in Suwannee County. These rankings use data related to physical environments, social and economic factors, health behaviors and clinical care.

In Suwannee County, 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. The Suwannee Health Advisory Group (SHAG) meets monthly at the health department to address community health issues. Some of the health issues currently being addressed by the SHAG include healthy weight, physical activity and nutrition. Nutrition and physical activity are directly linked to healthy weight and overall health. Suwannee County is pleased to be a part of the Surgeon General’s Healthiest Weight Florida campaign.

"Just as it takes a village to raise a child, it takes an entire community to improve health," said Pamela Blackmon, Administrator, Florida Department of Health in Suwannee County. "SHAG members are working diligently to help improve our health, but they can’t do it alone. Every individual in Suwannee County has the opportunity to improve their health and the health of the entire community. Let’s just get healthy!"

DOH protects, promotes and improves the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

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For an archive of all of our previous press releases, please see our Archive Page.

Health Department Newsletters

For an archive of all of our previous newsletters, please see our Archive Page.

This page was last modified on: 07/8/2014 10:14:25

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