Study uncovers Northeast Florida’s most critical health needs

Local nonprofit health care organizations unite to address gaps.

Jacksonville, FL

Access to health care, chronic disease and mental health are among the most critical health needs affecting Northeast Florida, according to the latest Community Health Needs Assessment commissioned by the Jacksonville Nonprofit Hospital Partnership.

Conducted every three years, the study collects and examines data from focus groups, interviews with key stakeholders and surveys across five Northeast Florida counties to gain a comprehensive view of the region’s evolving health and health needs.

More than 1,300 residents participated, with nine health concerns emerging. These also include:

  • Cancer
  • Drug abuse & misuse/overdose
  • Housing
  • Maternal and child health
  • Poverty
  • Transportation

The study states only 20% of an individual’s health is determined by the quality of care they are able to access, but as much as 50% is affected by social factors, such as socioeconomic status and access to transportation, affordable housing and healthy foods. These factors influence a person’s ability to stay healthy, manage illnesses and maintain overall well-being, and they disproportionately affect some demographic groups over others, including minorities, children, seniors, veterans and the LGBTQ+ community.

Because of this, the report also presents data based on zip code and examines health inequities impacting diverse community populations. The study’s findings are compared against national benchmarks and recent assessments conducted by organizations in other regions to paint a picture the state of health for Northeast Florida.

“We are called to provide clinically excellent, compassionate, personalized care to everyone, and the information gathered in the Community Health Needs Assessment helps us better understand the evolving needs of those we are so privileged to serve,” said Ascension Florida and Gulf Coast President and CEO Tom VanOsdol. “This assessment allows us to comprehensively review the relevant data and hear directly from members of our community about what they need most. In response, we must continually and collaboratively work to ensure our patients can receive the care they need, when and where they need it. We look forward to our collaborative work to make this a better, healthier community for all people.”

“Northeast Florida’s leading not-for-profit health systems are united by our commitment to improving the health of our community,” said Michael A. Mayo, DHA, FACHE, President and CEO of Baptist Health. “We share a calling to identify and address the most pressing health needs, and we know that it takes all of us, working together, to create lasting change. The Community Health Needs Assessment equips us with the knowledge to prioritize areas of greatest concern and seek innovative, effective solutions. It’s an honor and privilege to collaborate with our colleagues to uplift the health and well-being of our community.”

This is the fourth Community Health Needs Assessment conducted since the formation of the Partnership in 2011, which includes five health systems and 13 hospital campuses serving Northeast Florida – Ascension St. Vincent’s, Baptist Health and Wolfson Children’s Hospital, Brooks Rehabilitation, Mayo Clinic in Florida and UF Health Jacksonville.

“The comprehensive Community Health Needs Assessment has been an extremely worthwhile endeavor in helping us identify specific gaps in health care from the perspective of social determinants of health which continue to exist in our community,” said Doug Baer, President and CEO of Brooks Rehabilitation. “We are pleased to now have this information that Brooks will use as we move forward to develop solutions in the areas of: mental health, access, chronic disease and child health as we work together to improve the lives of northeast Florida residents.”

Each hospital in the partnership will implement strategies to improve the health and well-being of the community in the identified areas of need. Additionally, the Partnership will engage in a collaborative project to leverage its collective reach and enhance outcomes for all Northeast Florida residents.

“We appreciate the opportunity to partner with other area hospitals on the shared goal of serving the most vulnerable members of our community,” said Kent Thielen, MD, CEO of Mayo Clinic in Florida. “The CHNA provides a valuable opportunity for us to identify needs and improve the quality of life in our community through collaboration, awareness, education and access to care initiatives.”

“The Community Health Needs Assessment is a powerful, collaborative effort of the outstanding health care providers in our region, and the results will help us develop strategies to improve the health of all of our patients,” said Russ Armistead, CEO of UF Health Jacksonville. “UF Health Jacksonville is proud to be a part of this meaningful work, and we look forward to using this report to help those who depend on us for an improved quality of life.”

To access the Community Health Needs Assessment report, click here.