Community health assessment reveals nagging issues, inequities, opportunities for action in Jacksonville area

In 2021, UF Health Jacksonville executives Ann-Marie Knight and Ross Jones gave a tour of the new Urban Health Alliance Social Services Hub and Food Pharmacy. The hospital is part of the Jacksonville Nonprofit Hospital Partnership, which has released a new study on community health needs, which include lack of access to healthy food.

In 2021, UF Well being Jacksonville executives Ann-Marie Knight and Ross Jones gave a tour of the new City Wellness Alliance Social Solutions Hub and Meals Pharmacy. The hospital is section of the Jacksonville Nonprofit Hospital Partnership, which has produced a new analyze on group wellness needs, which contain deficiency of accessibility to healthy meals.

Just about every 3 years Jacksonville-region hospitals request people in 5 Northeast Florida counties what collectively ails them and if they encounter roadblocks receiving care.

The most up-to-date Group Health and fitness Needs Assessment, an exhaustive, 109-webpage doc unveiled Thursday, revealed the identical leading nagging troubles outlined in previous studies —  mental health, chronic ailment and lack of obtain to care. Just about every was exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and longtime overall health care inequities, according to the report.

Amongst other matters, the 2022 report also noted the critical “want for culturally knowledgeable and delicate treatment” for individuals of coloration and LGBTQ+ standing, as well as worrying life expectancy prices that were reduce than the condition typical in every Northeast Florida county but St. Johns.

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“It truly is form of like a checkup. … Like heading to the doctor,” mentioned Michael Mayo, president and CEO of Baptist Overall health. “Discovering out what is actually likely proper, what is actually not heading correct.”

The federally needed assessment was commissioned by the Jacksonville Nonprofit Clinic Partnership, which includes five wellbeing techniques and 13 medical center campuses serving Northeast Florida.

The ZIP code-based study helps pinpoint “warm spots” for the partnership and the local community to target its attempts, these types of as absence of access to care, housing and wholesome foods, Mayo said. The partnership previously has two collaborative action designs lined up, together with an electronic affected person referral process.

The 2nd is applying Blue Zones, a national system that helps adjust people’s health behaviors by reworking their neighborhoods, this sort of as including sidewalks to motivate walking and community gardens to strengthen nutrition in foods deserts.

How the examine was done

The hottest assessment is the fourth executed considering the fact that the partnership was shaped in 2011. Conducted by the Health and fitness Preparing Council of Northeast Florida, the review collected data from aim groups, interviews with important stakeholders and surveys across 5 Northeast Florida counties. The knowledge is as opposed to national benchmarks to establish the condition of the region’s wellbeing.

“We are called to deliver clinically great, compassionate, individualized care to all people, and the data collected in the Local community Health and fitness Desires Assessment will help us greater realize the evolving desires of those people we are so privileged to serve,” said Tom VanOsdol, president and CEO of Ascension Florida and Gulf Coastline. “This evaluation permits us to comprehensively evaluation the related knowledge and listen to directly from members of our local community about what they need most.”

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About 1,300 residents participated. In addition to the major three concerns, the research cited most cancers, drug abuse, maternal and kid wellness, as well as the wellbeing impacts of housing, poverty and deficiency of transportation.



In a joint statement, partnership leaders Mayo, VanOsdol and fellow hospital CEOs D
oug Baer of Brooks Rehabilitation, Kent Thielen of Mayo Clinic Florida and Russ Armistead of UF Well being Jacksonville claimed they had been “committed to resolving problems plaguing the most susceptible among us.”

“The report was executed through unprecedented instances when our neighborhood and country have been tremendously influenced by the COVID-19 pandemic and as our state expert a number of incidents of racial injustice,” according to the statement. “Systemic racism, incidents of discrimination and cultural incompetence are motorists of racial well being inequities. As a final result, each of our wellness programs is actively engaged in diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts to discover and work to deal with racial health and fitness inequities.”

Pinpointing gaps in health care

The partnership has now sponsored programs these kinds of as Mental Health Initial Help, which teaches people how to identify, fully grasp and react to symptoms of mental disease and substance use conditions and Job Conserve Life, which delivers aftercare providers to men living with a substance use disorder.

The evaluation “has been an incredibly worthwhile endeavor in aiding us establish precise gaps in wellness care,” Baer said. “We are pleased to now have this information that Brooks will use as we go ahead to develop solutions.”

That the prime 3 issues in the 2022 review are acquainted does not show deficiency of improvement, Armistead mentioned.

“This development exists regardless of a wealth of best-practice initiatives that are in spot across our town,” he reported. “Individuals initiatives … operate toward frequent plans of increasing health disparities, but the challenge continues. Irrespective of staying gradual, we suspect we are mitigating tendencies that could be significantly even worse if we weren’t centered on them.”



The vital to ongoing advancement, Armistead claimed, will be addressing socioeconomic position, training and access to transportation, inexpensive housing and healthy foodstuff. As considerably as 50 per cent of an individual’s wellness is established by these kinds of social variables.

All those factors can lead to racial and ethnic disparities in health and fitness care, Thielen said.

“They have better risk mainly because they lack means,” he reported. “The pandemic heightened our consciousness of the requires.”

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Broad, communitywide initiatives are wanted to deal with all the challenges and their many results in.

“These are some of the most significant problems facing the local community,” Thielen explained. “Numerous techniques are wanted to address them … Groups coming collectively.”

Blue Zones will do just that by “getting into the coronary heart” of neighborhoods, Mayo mentioned. A Blue Zones feasibility research has presently been performed in Jacksonville and the plan will start June 2.

The plan is based mostly on transplanting the balanced practices of seven destinations across the earth “the place people today are living long, vivid healthful lives,” he claimed. Mayo is hoping for common community support, like Metropolis Corridor and other governments that can make coverage to get the ball rolling.

“Procedures plow by way of a lot of other items that enable these points to occur,” this kind of as new sidewalks prompting additional motion, he mentioned. “A whole lot of agencies are performing a large amount of quite great work [to improve community health]. But is it not related in a single hard work.”

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To go through the report, go to For far more data on Blue Zones in Jacksonville, go to

This article initially appeared on Florida Moments-Union: Jacksonville-region hospitals launch report on neighborhood well being problems