The Marion County Community Health Assessment is underway

May 09, 2022 at 02:43 pm by pj

Ocala — Creating a healthier, more vibrant community does not happen in a vacuum. It requires collaboration, determination, and information.

Which is why the Florida Department of Health in Marion County and its partners at AdventHealth Ocala and the WellFlorida Council are seeking the community’s input for our new health survey.

As of today, we are inviting the Marion County residents to visit to help us learn which health and wellness issues are most important to them. The survey takes about 10 minutes to complete.

A separate survey is available to gain feedback from local healthcare providers. That can be found at

Responses are gathered anonymously, protecting the privacy of respondents. The information provided by the respondents will be compiled in a report that will be released this fall. Community leaders will use that report to chart strategies to make all of Marion County healthier.

In years past, AdventHealth Ocala also has done its own assessment. For 2022, DOH-Marion and AdventHealth decided to combine forces to better gauge our community’s overall health and wellness needs. WellFlorida Council, our region’s health council and a consultant for health causes in our area, is facilitating the survey.

“Our partnership with AdventHealth in conducting the Community Health Assessment is a force multiplier in working toward a healthier Marion County,” said Mark Lander, administrator of the Department of Health in Marion County.

“But the process starts with the residents of our community. The assessment is like a GPS system guiding us on how to improve the health and wellness of all of Marion County. But we need the community’s help in determining which direction to go. That’s why I encourage residents to assist us by taking a few minutes to complete the survey.”

Kimberly Williams, director of Community Benefit for AdventHealth West Florida Division, said, “AdventHealth is committed to building a stronger, healthier community in Marion County and we look forward to working with the Marion County Department of Health to identify and better understand the needs of the communities we serve.”

“This assessment is an essential step in creating collaborative community initiatives that remove barriers and in turn create access to proper care and a better quality of life,” she added.

Christine Abarca, senior planner for community initiatives with WellFlorida Council, said, “Quantitative data from an array of datasets can only describe part of a community’s health needs and health issues. Gathering the community’s perspective of health status, health issues and problems, and the healthcare experience is essential to fully understanding a community’s health and quality of life.”

“Analysis of the data collected through a robust survey effort results in a stronger understanding of community issues, concerns, and perceptions about quality of life through the lens of community members, healthcare providers, and other community partners,” she continued. “These data help inform the identification of strategic health issues, point to priority populations, and suggest potential strategies to address problems.”

The link for the survey will be available until June 10. This is part of a process that DOH-Marion must conduct every three years in order to update the Community Health Improvement Plan for Marion County.

For more information about the surveys, contact Kimberly Williams, community benefit director at AdventHealth Ocala, at or 813-803-4028, or Craig Ackerman, operations director for the Department of Health in Marion County, at or 352-644-2588.