April 20, 2019

Up Front - Publisher's Column

A checkup on Florida's health

Andrew P. Corty | 7/27/2018

Nemours is one of four hospitals in Florida that specialize in pediatric health, focusing on clinical work as well as research and education. Yet plenty of other Florida hospitals have special wings that concentrate on children’s health and provide great service.

Florida Trend provides a list of some of these hospitals while also noting the challenges they face, ranging from a doctor shortage — which leads to extended wait times — and a lack of residencies to behavioral health among young people and childhood obesity — 17% of America’s youth are considered obese.

This month’s coverage also includes information about health in the state overall.

I’m not surprised that wealthy counties like St. Johns, Sarasota and Collier are at the top of the healthy list. Nor that more rural counties like Putnam, Hendry and Hamilton are at the bottom.

However, it caught me short to know that half of all Florida births are paid by Medicaid. Or how many young mothers smoke, have C-sections or fail to get their children immunized — one-third of toddlers are not immunized.

Something isn’t working. How can we improve Florida’s health, especially in poorer counties?

The Best Companies feature, explores what attracted employees to their companies. The answer seems to be “genuineness” and “caring” for the staff.

Benefits and pay are important, of course, but we hear about healthy eating options, an empowering boss, open communications and a “family” feeling even in a large organization.

A list of the 100 best companies to work for in Florida — based on employee feedback — accompanies the employee profiles.

Daytona is rising — and revving its engines. Our special report looks at how the Daytona Beach area is attracting folks of all ages. Volusia County already boasts 500,000+ people. I believe the area benefits from its central location and almost 50 miles of beachfront on the Atlantic Ocean. It’s also fortunate to be at the intersection of the eastwest I-4 and the north-south I-95.

Volusia also gains from its proximity to Orlando, from its multiple airports, from the activities at Port Canaveral, excellent hospital access and new communities like Latitude Margaritaville. The region is one of many in Florida attracting large numbers of new businesses.

Even more awards. We are gluttons for this kind of thing. The Alliance of Area Business Publications recognized Florida Trend at its annual conference with three golds, three silvers and a bronze in the large magazine category.

The awards went to:

  • Gary Bernloehr, Jason Morton and freelancer Jeff Papa for Best Feature Layout on an article about sea-level rise
  • Jason Garcia for Best Personality Profile on his piece about Deirdre Macnab and the League of Women Voters
  • Staff writers and freelancers for Around the State, a region-by-region news wrap-up
  • Mike Vogel for Best Explanatory Journalism on his article about sober houses and the rehab industry
  • Again to Mike for his piece on sea-level rise
  • Mark Howard for his “Editor’s Page” commentary
  • And the entire Florida Trend editorial staff for Best Magazine

— Andy Corty, Publisher


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