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Senior Health Rankings Released

By Florida Department of Health, Office of Communications

May 30, 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 30, 2013

Contact: Communications Office
(850) 245-4111

SENIOR HEALTH RANKINGS RELEASED
~United Health Foundation releases first America's Health Rankings Senior Report~

TALLAHASSEE—The Florida Department of Health (DOH) recognizes the value in measuring health outcomes and acknowledges the America's Health Rankings Senior Report released this week from the United Health Foundation. This study uses common data, much of which was obtained from the Department of Health and is available at www.floridacharts.com. These rankings provide a snapshot of the health of seniors across all 50 states.

The senior population has steadily increased in Florida, rising from 14.7 percent of the population in 1970 to nearly 18 percent in 2012. Florida has a larger proportion of senior residents than any other state, with the average US percentage of 13.8 per state in 2009. The Senior Report highlights Florida's rank as number one in diabetes management, number three in hospice care, and number seven in health screenings.

"There is no finish line on the road to better health for Florida's seniors," said Dr. John Armstrong, State Surgeon General and Secretary of Health. "Through our integrated Department of Health we are able to work with partners at the community level to ensure Florida's seniors receive proper health screenings and education to address the long term health challenges they face."

Health outcomes result from a combination of economic, social, behavioral, environmental, and clinical care factors. The Department, through its State Health Improvement Plan (SHIP), has established a roadmap to monitor and improve health milestones. Through its statewide system of county health departments, DOH works alongside partners like Florida's Council on Aging to help improve the health of all seniors in Florida.

"Data and comparisons like these are informative with a population as diverse as the aging residents in Florida," said Margaret Lynn Duggar, Executive Director for the Florida Council on Aging. "Many of the areas where problems are identified are also areas that communities and coalitions can impact positively, such as improving the volunteering rate, which also leads to improved physical and mental health in older adults. The Florida Council on Aging commits to sharing this information widely and partnering, when appropriate, for action."

The Senior Report includes state-by-state information about senior health outcomes; including a detailed report highlighting Florida-specific information. There are also state-specific health-related info-graphics available and a resource library of tools on how to learn more about senior health. The entire report can be viewed at www.americashealthrankings.org.

The Department works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.

Follow us on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For news story ideas, interviews, videos and more from DOH Communications visit the DOH Online Newsroom.

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