Use of the County Health Rankings by Local Health Departments in Florida, 2010-2011

Local health departments in Florida use the County Health Rankings to improve their community's health.

The authors surveyed local health department (LHD) leadership to describe if, how and to what extent the Rankings were used by Florida’s 67 LHDs to improve the health of their communities and describe changes in use from the 2010 to the 2011 release. Their results indicate substantial use of the Rankings by Florida’s LHDs, particularly as applied to community health assessments, staff education, as a starting point for examining other indicators and databases, and in grant applications. From 2010 to 2011, they found significant increases in LHD use of the Rankings to build broad multisectoral community involvement in the solution of community health problems. However, media engagement with the Rankings appears to have decreased with time.

A primary implication for public health practice is the apparent utility of the Rankings as a tool for community organizing around public health issues and communicating the multifactorial nature of health.