County Health Departments
Public Health is the foundation of Florida’s health care system. Public health services protect us from disease and injury and encourage us to change behaviors that cause poor health. The county health departments improve health status by preventing epidemics, protecting against environmental hazards, encouraging healthy behaviors, preparing for and responding to disasters, and assuring the quality and accessibility of health services. “It is the intent of the Legislature to promote, protect, maintain and improve the health and safety of all citizens and visitors of our state through a system of coordinated county health department services” (Chapter 154.001, F.S.) County Health Departments are located in all 67 of Florida's counties.
County health departments are state-local partnerships that enter into a contract annually with their host Board of County Commissioners. The contract specifies the services to be provided and the revenues that fund the services. County health departments are supported by a variety of revenues including state funds, county funds, federal funds, fees, Medicaid, grants, and contracts.
- County health departments have served approximately one million persons annually in each of the past four years. About two-thirds of these clients had family income below the federal poverty level.
- County health departments have ensured, either by providing directly or by contract, that prenatal care, immunization, sexually transmitted disease, family planning, and basic sick care services are available in all 67 counties in Florida.
- The percent of two year olds fully immunized in Florida has increased from 83% in 1998 to 86.1% in 2011. These high immunization rates in pre-school age children represent an impressive achievement as a new cohort of children must be immunized every year.
- In 2011 the total number of cases of haemophilus influenzae type B in children under five in Florida was zero; confirmed cases of measles in children under 19 was 8, and only three children under 19 weres reported with hepatitis B. A remarkable achievement in a state with over one million pre-school age children.
- The majority of active tuberculosis cases in Florida in the last four years have been treated by county health departments.
- The TB case rate per 100,000 has declined from 8.5 in 1998 to 4.0 in 2011.
- The birth rate per 1000 females aged 15-19 in Florida has declined from 27.5.0 in 1992 to 21.9 in 2012.
- The AIDS case rate in Florida has dropped from 32.6 per 100,000 in 1998 to 17.4 per 100,000 in 2011.
- Infant mortality in Florida has dropped from 8.8 per 1,000 live births in 1992 to 6.0 in 2012.
- County Health Departments have served effectively as the front line defense against bio-terrorism and natural disasters.