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Florida Department of Health in Charlotte County Addresses County Health Rankings

By Jennifer S. Sexton

March 19, 2019

March 19, 2019


Jennifer S. Sexton
941-624-7200 ext. 7279

Port Charlotte, Fla. —The Florida Department of Health in Charlotte County recognizes the value in measuring health outcomes and today acknowledged the 2019 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps tool released by the University of Wisconsin and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. This study highlights the many community factors that influence health and uses established data, much of which is available from the department at

“The County Health Rankings show how Charlotte County ranks on factors that influence its overall health ranking. The Rankings show that Charlotte County has strengths in the areas of clinical care, where it ranked 11 out of 67, and health behaviors, where it ranked 14 out of 67,” said Joseph Pepe, Interim Health Officer for the Florida Department of Health in Charlotte County. “The Rankings also shed light on obstacles to health for our residents, and identify opportunities for improvement that can make Charlotte County a healthier place to live, learn, work and play.”

These rankings are a snapshot of the health of counties across the country, and they emphasize that health is not a singular effort but a combined work in progress across all community partners. The department works in collaboration with local governments, non-profit organizations, health care facilities, business groups, schools, faith-based organizations and many other stakeholders to improve the health of all people in Charlotte County. These rankings use data related to physical environments, social and economic factors, health behaviors and clinical care.

In Charlotte County, the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) is designed to address specific opportunities for improved health that have been identified by the community. The department has partnered with many stakeholders to implement the CHIP and collaborates regularly to track progress.

Healthy Charlotte, which leads the implementation of Charlotte County’s CHIP, recently developed a new plan for 2019-2020 that focuses on reducing Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) such as child abuse, neglect, and household dysfunction. Research has found that these experiences can lead to poor health behaviors and poor health outcomes in adulthood.  

“Our goal is to increase the protective factors for children in Charlotte County,” said Pepe. “These include increased parental involvement, access to community resources including faith-based and after-school activities.”

These protective factors can also help bolster on-time high school graduation. Charlotte County’s most recent rate of high school graduation was 90% (2016-2017), up from 76% (2014-2015). This increase is encouraging, as high school graduates are not only more likely to be employed and make higher income with better health and longer life expectancy.

To explore more health indicators in your county, visit

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