|SARASOTA COUNTY – The Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County (DOH-Sarasota) has been selected by the Alzheimer’s Association and the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO) as a grantee for the Healthy Brain Initiative (HBI) Road Map Strategists. The grant will allow DOH-Sarasota to enhance its capacity to address cognitive health and dementia for residents and caregivers in Sarasota County. “We are honored to be selected as part of this inaugural group,” said DOH Health Officer Chuck Henry. “With more than thirty seven percent of our population 65 years of age or older, Sarasota County is uniquely positioned to advance public health work among our older adults.” DOH-Sarasota has designated a HBI Road Map Strategist, a public health official working in support and coordination with public health partners across the community. The Road Map Strategist will conduct a public health needs assessment, train local health officials and key community partners, and lead implementation of public health action on dementia, consistent with the State and Local Public Health Partnerships to Address Dementia:, The 2018-2023 Road Map. “It is exciting and encouraging to see two Florida county health departments further their commitment to community by becoming Healthy Brain Initiative strategists in this inaugural cohort program. Sarasota and Nassau counties continue to set the standard for improving health outcomes for those Floridians living with dementia,” said Angela McAuley, Regional Leader – Florida with the Alzheimer’s Association. “And we look forward to them paving the way for more awareness, education, care and support for both those living with the disease and their caregivers.” DOH-Sarasota was one of eight grantees in the inaugural cohort. Other recipients included: • Placer County Public Health Division — California• Tri-County Health Department — Colorado• Florida Department of Health in Nassau County — Florida• Florida Department of Health in Sarasota County — Florida• Baltimore City Health Department — Maryland• Framingham Department of Public Health — Massachusetts• Summit County Public Health — Ohio• Public Health — Seattle & King County — Washington People living with dementia and their family caregivers require support as cognitive, behavioral and physical functioning worsens over time. A strategic public health response is needed to mitigate this impact on all communities, and the addition of the HBI Strategist will help to improve Sarasota County’s response. About 37% of Sarasota County residents are 65 years and older with an average life expectancy of 81.4 years. Probable Alzheimer’s cases affect 13.9% of this age group. This means that about 21,680 residents in Sarasota County are likely directly impacted by Alzheimer’s. In 2019, Alzheimer’s Disease was the fourth leading cause of death in the county, higher than the state at the sixth leading cause. With the HBI Road Map Strategist, the hope is to enhance the community’s ability to positively impact the lives of those living with dementia and their caregivers and to be a model for other communities in the State. ###|
|About the Florida Department of Health:|
The Department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts.