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Palm Coast Tuesday, Apr. 18, 2017 6 months ago

How healthy is Flagler County? Health Department releases numbers

Flagler County is ranked 14th healthiest out of the state's 67 counties.
by: Jonathan Simmons News Editor

Out of the 67 counties in the state, Flagler County was the 14th healthiest last year, up from the 22nd healthiest the year before.

The Flagler County Health Department tracks such statistics, along with handling immunizations, vital records keeping, communicable disease investigation, prenatal care, dental care and other health-related services for thousands of county residents.

In a presentation at the Palm Coast City Council meeting April 18, Bob Snyder, the administrator of the Florida Department of Health in Flagler County, updated the council on health issues in the county.

"In 2016, our staff of 40 ...  touched the lives of 14,699 individuals," Snyder said. About 77% of those individuals served were from Palm Coast, he said. 

The county-by-county rating of healthiest to least healthy includes measures tracking length of life, quality of life, certain health measures and socioeconomic indicators, Snyder explained.

Flagler County's residents' lifespans are in line with the state average — about 76 for men and close to 82 for women — and Flagler residents smoke less than the state average; 14% of Flagler residents, versus 21% of state residents. 

County by county rankings

While Flagler ranks 14th healthiest in the state, surrounding counties vary wildly:

St. Johns County: First healthiest in the state

Flagler County: 14th healthiest

Volusia County: 42nd healthiest

Putnam County: 64th healthiest

Shortage of medical professionals

Flagler lags behind other Florida counties when it comes to the ratio of health professionals per resident.

Flagler has: 

1 primary care physician per 2,130 people; the state has 1 per 1,380 people

1 dentist per 3,100 people; the state has 1 per every 1,790 people

1 mental health provider per every 2,100 people; the state has 1 per 750 people

Causes of death

Cancer is the largest single medical case of death in Flagler County, followed by: heart disease, stroke, chronic lower respiratory disease, and suicide.

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