The GNV4ALL health team has researched health in Alachua County. Alachua County has been working towards its vision of “a community where everyone can be healthy” since November 2012. The health team recognizes that when GNV4ALL improves the social determinants of health (jobs, education, poverty, etc.), health will improve for all citizens in Alachua County. The health team has chosen four focus areas to significantly improve health: tobacco use, oral health, mental health awareness and obesity. Strategies to reduce tobacco use include raising the age to purchase tobacco to 21 years old, enacting policies preventing tobacco use in parks and limiting the sale of tobacco near schools. To improve oral health, partners will work together to refer people from the Emergency Department to the Southwest Dental Clinic for appropriate care and expand the Medicaid dental providers serving the east side of Gainesville. By training residents in mental health first aid, people will be able to easily identify someone in a mental health crisis and direct them to appropriate resources. Finally, the team will focus on increasing the amount of adults and children who are at a healthy weight by recognizing smarter elementary school lunchrooms, growing the farm to school program, providing adult nutrition education through cooking classes and community gardens and helping municipalities gain health recognition through programs like Community Champions. For more information please see the Alachua County Community Health Improvement Plan and Assessment at http://alachua.floridahealth.gov/programs-and-services/community-health-planning-and-statistics/data-and-reporting/index.html
The Alachua County Community Health Improvement Partnership (AC-CHIP) recommends that GNV4ALL focus its health efforts in eliminating tobacco use and exposure to secondhand smoke. Tobacco use has been the number-one cause of preventable death and disease in the USA for decades. Since 1964, the US Surgeon General estimates 20 million Americans have died because of smoking, including 2.5 million nonsmokers that have died from secondhand smoke. The tobacco industry has a history of aggressively targeting specific demographic groups to addict new smokers, and 95% of adult smokers began smoking before the age of 21. The CDC reports that 19.7% (one in five) of Gainesville residents over the age of 18 continues to smoke. In our community and across the nation, tobacco-related cancers are higher among certain groups, including men, African Americans, and those with low income or education. To move our community forward for everyone, we must break the cycle of tobacco induced sickness and death on our friends, families, fellow residents and pets. We must work together to promote community policies and actions to prevent tobacco use among youth, reduce exposure to secondhand smoke, and support cessation efforts for current smokers. Together, we can make the next generation tobacco free.
Oral Health Access
and capacity (currently waiting lists for dental services – for example, Acorn runs a wait list in excess of 500 people routinely for dental care, 3,800 visits annually for dental services occur in the UF Health ED’s alone, not considering North Florida regional etc)
Mental Health Awareness
on two levels: a) access to healthy foods and b) increasing activity