2018 - 2019 Polk Vision Annual Report PV Annual Report 2018_WEB - Page 30

29 Changing the health landscape of Polk County. TOGETHER. With obesity directly linked to chronic diseases such as heart disease, stroke and diabetes which are major causes of death and preventable hospital stays, the startling statistic galvanized a movement among stakeholders across Polk County. Working cooperatively with the Florida Department of Health, Polk Vision convened a large cross-sector group of subject matter experts to prioritize objectives in addressing the alarming rate of obesity in our community. This group came to be known as Building a Healthier Polk and has been working to develop healthy habits and behaviors in key settings across our community. Currently, three Building a Healthier Polk Teams are built on objectives targeting School Health, Primary Care Physicians, and Worksite Wellness. The importance of having each of these Teams focused on promoting a united message cannot be overstated. Common language and central communication is essential to keeping these cross-sector professionals aligned as they work towards the long-term goal of improving the healthy weight rate in our community. Reducing obesity rates and increasing the healthy weight rate of our citizens is a long-term effort. The Building a Healthier Polk Teams are committed to reducing the obesity (BMI >30) rate in Polk County to less than the state average (36.9% to 26.4% in 2013). The Florida Department of Health in Polk County includes the work of these Teams into its 2016-2020 Community Health Improvement Plan. Dr. Joy Jackson // Director of the Florida Department of Health in Polk County Every person should have the opportunity to make choices that allow them to live a long, healthy life. We are proud to partner with Polk Vision - an organization that addresses health equity through the work of all its Teams.”