Access, poverty, obesity biggest health needs in Northeast Florida

Local nonprofit hospitals team up to study community's biggest health needs

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – What are the metro Jacksonville's greatest health needs and what can be done to improve affected residents quality of life? 

Area hospitals teamed up to study those issues. After analyzing statistics and community data from five counties including the insight from more than 1,300 people, they found that access to healthcare, poverty, obesity, mental health, maternal, fetal and infant health, and cancer are the major factors decreasing the quality of life. 

This is the third study conducted since the formation of the Jacksonville Nonprofit Hospital Partnership, which includes St. Vincent's, Baptist Health, Mayo Clinic and various local health departments. 

The next step for these contributors is to find a solution.

"Access to health care is difficult and, in many cases, transportation is a barrier, and mental health and behavioral health carries a significant need in our community," said Tom Van Osdol, CEO of Ascension St. Vincent's. "There's also obesity and access to food and nutrition, and the prevalence of cancer. These are just a few things we've found in our communities."

The study also found that seniors, persons with disabilities, veterans and people in the LGBTQ community are among the most vulnerable populations. 

To read the full report, visit

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