NE Fla. counties among best, worst in health rankings

Published On: Mar 20 2013 02:21:47 PM EDT   Updated On: Mar 20 2013 02:56:02 PM EDT
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -

The Florida Department of Health says a new set of county-by-county health rankings gives a snapshot of how healthy people are in different parts of the state.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation published the rankings for each country based on existing data.

“The Florida Department of Health works every day to bring together community partners around shared goals to improve health,” said Dr. John Armstrong, Florida's Surgeon General and Secretary of Health. “As we track our progress, we are reminded there is no finish line in our efforts for better health.”

Northeast Florida includes some of the best and worst counties.

St. Johns County ranked No. 1 overall for the second year in a row.

Clay County ranked seventh, Nassau County ranked 29th, and Duval County ranked 47th.

Duval did have a notable drop in the teen birth rate over the last few years, but the report noted that many Jacksonville residents have limited access to primary health care and often use of emergency rooms for conditions best managed in an outpatient setting.

The phrases ‘health knows no boundaries,’ and ‘it takes a village’ are more true today than at anytime in history” said Dr. Dawn Allicock, interim director of the Duval County Health Department “While today’s report presents county level rankings, we realize that promoting optimal health involves a broad spectrum of partners working together, in all levels of government, education, business and civic organizations.”

Several of the bottom 10 counties in the rankings are from the northeast Florida area.

Columbia County ranked 58th, Bradford County ranked 60th, Baker County ranked 62nd, Putnam County ranked 66th, and Union County was last at 67th.

For more information on the rankings, click here.