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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county & community efforts.

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Health Equity

Health Equity

Health Equity
View the 2022 Health Equity Summit
(ZIP, 9MB)

Watch the recording of the 2022 Okaloosa-Walton Health Equity Summit

In 2021, the Florida Department of Health in Okaloosa County received funding to work toward achieving health equity in our county. This funding came through the Office of Minority Health and Health Equity (MHHE), who recently established Minority Health and Health Equity Liaisons in each county. This was done as a part of efforts to achieve the highest level of health for all people, including the development a Health Equity Plan from each county. This plan will guide our efforts to improve and create strategies to address systems and increase opportunities to achieve health. These efforts were done in coordination with Florida Statute Section 381.735, which expands the duties and responsibilities of the Office of Minority Health and Health Equity and the Department.

What is health equity? Achieving health equity is important! According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, “we are seeing across the nation that gaps in health are large, persistent, and increase—many of them are caused by barriers set up at all levels of our society. After all, it’s hard to be healthy without access to good jobs and schools and safe, affordable homes. Health equity means that everyone has a fair and just opportunity to be as healthy as possible. This requires removing obstacles to health such as poverty, discrimination, and their consequences, including powerlessness and lack of access to good jobs with fair pay, quality education and housing, safe environments, and health care.” Achieving health equity in Okaloosa County requires us to value everyone and eliminate disparities.

We cannot take a “one-size-fits-all” approach and should instead look at individual needs. The graphic above represents this importance. A person who uses a wheelchair likely needs a ramp, not a step-stool. By addressing individual needs, everyone is able to reach an orange in the tree. 

Please contact us to learn more about health equity efforts in Okaloosa County.