Checking Health Risks in Monroe County to Find Main Concerns

Estimated read time 4 min read

The folks running things in the Monroe County, are getting serious about figuring out their biggest health problems. The folks at the Department of Health are leading the charge, taking a good hard look at what’s up with health in the county.

Looking at Community Health from All Angles

This whole checking up on health thing has got a few parts to it:

1. A Survey of the Folks Who Live There, they’re asking people who live and work in Monroe County what they think. Getting all these different opinions is key for nailing down what’s actually bugging everyone health wise.

2. Talking to Local Groups, they’re not doing it solo either they’re teaming up with the local bigwigs like city governments, cops, hospitals, and charities and stuff. Understanding where these groups are coming from is super important.

By talking with key people, the health department can make well-rounded plans to fix health differences.

3. Focus Groups, taking a close look at what the community needs and worries about by having detailed talks gives really useful information that can’t be counted. These meetings provide deep understanding that go well with the numbers we get from surveys.


Making the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP)

Allison Kerr, who’s in charge of Community Health for Florida’s Health Department in Monroe County, points out how important public health surveys are. Also known as “wellbeing surveys,” they help create the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP). This plan follows steps approved by the National Association of County and City Health Officials and outlines what the health department will focus on strategically for the next five years.


Setting Big Goals

The department’s trying hard to get a full picture of how healthy our community is. They plan to cover everything they can.”

We got feedback from 1,000 people that’s 300 more than we did in 2018. The survey covers a lot, including personal details, top health worries, everyday habits, the environment around us, and the economic troubles people are facing.


Identifying and Prioritizing Health Challenges

After carefully checking over the data from our survey, listening to focus groups, and getting input from partners in the community, we will figure out the three biggest health problems in the Florida Keys. This survey also sheds light on how many folks don’t have enough insurance or any at all. That helps us decide where to send help first for those who need it most.


Reflecting on Past Efforts and Addressing Ongoing Challenges

The last time we looked into this stuff back in 2018, we found that just getting to see a doctor was a big deal for folks. Since then? We’ve been working hard on making sure more people have insurance and there are enough medical workers to go around.

We’ve made strides in certain areas, but keeping medical professionals on board is still a problem.


Tackling Substance Abuse and Mental Health

We need to keep focusing on substance abuse and mental health areas earlier reports said were crucial. It’s good news that suicide and opioid related deaths have dropped since 2018, but we’ve got to keep up the hard work with community programs and support.


Engaging the Community as Partners in Health

The department’s asking locals to have their say through the wellbeing survey, open until April 30. This way, people in the community help steer what we do about health in the future.


Acknowledging and Mitigating Limitations

We must admit where we’re falling short and fix those issues.

There are limits to this type of study. The differences between those who answered the survey and those who didn’t especially in terms of age and background could skew the results, making them not as widely applicable as they should be. Even with attempts to make the study fair, we have to keep these issues in mind.


What We Learned from the Study

This study showed some interesting points,

Health Insurance Coverage, as of 2022, just about 1% of adult folks living in Monroe County did not have health insurance. How much money people make played a big part in whether they had coverage or not.

Care for Women, Clearly, women over 40 aren’t getting enough preventive care. That tells us we need to focus on teaching them more and coming up with special programs.


What’s Next, Making Health Fair for Everyone

If Monroe County wants better health for its people, it’ll rely on teamwork, input from locals, and choices based on solid evidence. Focusing on key areas that need improvement will help move things forward.

Community Health Management

Taking care of our community’s health means we’ve got to keep a sharp eye on problems and tackle new health issues as they pop up. That way, we can work together for a healthier place where everyone lives.

Celina Brooks

Celina Brooks from Mussoorie is a Writer & Researcher. She earned her Engineering degree in IT from Rutgers University. She is a technology enthusiast but loves writing and talking about local news as well. She is a jolly person with 2 children.

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