Community Health Assessment results released

Special to the Citrus County Chronicle

The Florida Department of Health in Citrus (DOH-Citrus) recently released the 2015 Citrus County Community Health Assessment and Technical Appendix (CHA). Some 1,100 Citrus County residents participated in the project designed to provide an in-depth look at the community’s health. Developed in partnership with WellFlorida Council and Citrus Community Health Advisory Partnership, the assessment was built using multiple sources of community-based data, community surveys and comments collected at community focus groups.

The purpose of the CHA is to provide a starting point for community health improvement planning in the coming months. Key areas identified for improvement include:
* Healthiest weight — 62.6 percent of adults are overweight or obese. The percentage of adults who are obese in Citrus County has increased from 2010-13 and continues to be a major health challenge.
* Access to health care — access for many residents remains an issue due to multiple factors, including poverty and availability of physicians.
* Availability of healthy foods — costs associated with the purchase of healthy food remains a barrier to obtaining a healthier lifestyle for many low-income families.
* Mental health and substance abuse — similar to access-to-care issues, mental health and substance abuse have often been identified as a major concern for Citrus County residents. The use of Emergency Services for mental health and substance abuse reasons has seen a dramatic increase, with few solutions for long-term care.

DOH-Citrus would like to thank those community members who participated in the assessment process. In addition, DOH-Citrus and the Citrus Community Health Advisory Partnership would like to extend an invitation to all interested community members, community organizations and local officials to join in the effort to identify actions and strategies to improve the health of Citrus County residents.
If you would like to be involved in planning a healthier Citrus County, please contact Nancy Witty at 352-527-0068, ext. 299, or for more information.

Results of the 2015 CHA report are available at

The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts. Follow the department on Twitter at @HealthyFla and on Facebook. For more information, visit

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