State Health Secretary Addresses Disparities

Health disparities are still plaguing one area community. Local health officials are receiving assistance from the state to continue their work to combat these problems.

Researchers are looking into if there is a link between lead exposure and hypertension in Gadsden County, just one of many health disparities throughout the community.

Others include asthma, diabetes and infant mortality.

Dr. Mauren Jones of the FSU Center of Health Equity says, "We see two to four times the rate of black babies dying as compared to white babies."

The Gadsden County Health Council and partners shared these issues Wednesday with state health secretary Dr. M. Rony Francois. He told the council to model other programs.

Dr. M. Rony Francois said, "What are the programs? Then say to yourself, what is some other county doing or what is the CDC recommending for hepatitis problem? Your best asset is your staff."

Francois also emphasized education as the key fighting prevalent health problems.

Sherry Vanlandingham, Chairperson of the Gadsden County Health Council, says, “I'm very impressed with Dr. Francois. I think he is going to do great things for our county as well as many other counties. Hopefully our county will be the pilot to other counties that are like us."

Francois commended the hard work by local leaders and says the state will help as much as possible.