OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol
OPPAGA text logo with graphic of FL historic capitol

Department of Health

Community Public Health

What is the purpose of the program?

The Community Public Health program carries out the Department of Health's mission to protect and promote the health and safety of all people in Florida through the delivery of public health services.

What services does the program provide?

The program delivers a wide range of public health services to maintain and improve the public health of Florida's citizens and visitors. 
  • Community Health Promotion facilitates access to basic family health care services for those who struggle to obtain care in the private sector. The major programs include: family planning, primary care, school health, the Healthy Start coalitions, and the federal nutrition programs for pregnant women and children.
  • County Health Departments, Local Health Needs programs include basic family health, outpatient and nutrition services, cancer screenings, infectious disease prevention and control and environmental health services, recording vital events, and improving health outcomes of racial and ethnic populations.
  • Disease Control and Health Protection services are intended to detect, control, and treat diseases. Services include statewide programs for HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases, and tuberculosis. The program also ensures the sanitation and safety of water, onsite sewage disposal, and public use facilities. The immunization program works to increase the percentage of children who receive immunizations and provides vaccinations to children who do not have health insurance.
  • Statewide Public Health Support Services support all-hazards preparedness and response, state laboratory, pharmacy, and emergency medical services, vital statistics, and radiation control.

How are public health services delivered to Florida citizens?

Through state-county partnerships, the majority of public health services are delivered through the state's 67 county health departments. Each county health department provides basic core services that are outlined in an annual contract between the county's board of county commissioners and the department. Some public health services are also delivered in community and migrant health centers, academic-affiliated institutions, and non-profit public health organizations. County health departments serve about one million persons annually. The department's web site offers information about specific diseases, immunizations, suicide prevention, substance abuse and referrals to providers, links to support tobacco cessation, tools for submitting information on reportable diseases, and on injury prevention.

What is the status of public health in Florida?

As the entity responsible for public health in Florida, the department reports on several public health outcomes:
  • Drug Overdose Deaths. The age-adjusted rate of deaths attributed to unintentional or intentional overdose of drugs increased from 15.5 cases per 100,00 persons in calendar year 2015 to 22.9 cases in calendar year 2018.
  • AIDS. For calendar year 2018, the reported AIDS infection rates declined statewide slightly, from 9.9 cases per 100,000 persons in the prior calendar year to 9.2 cases. In Fiscal Year 2018-19, a total of 18,945 patients received HIV care from the county health departments, 6,124 above the standard of 12,821.
  • Infant Mortality. The infant mortality rate in Florida in Fiscal Year 2018-19 was 6.0 per 1,000 live births, which was below the performance standard of 6.9 deaths per 1,000 live births. The rate among non-white births was 10.3 in Fiscal Year 2018-19, which was just below the performance standard of 10.7 deaths per 1,000 live births.
  • Teen Births. The rate of births to mothers ages 15 to 19, per 1,000 females of the same age was 16.7 in Fiscal Year 2018-19, which was lower than the performance standard of 41.5.
  • Vaccinations. The immunization rate among two-year-olds was 83.9% in Fiscal Year 2018-19, which wa lower than the performance standard of 90.25%. This measure includes four doses of Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis vaccine, three doses of Polio, one dose of Measles/Mumps/Rubella (MMR), three doses of Haemophilus influenza type b, three doses of hepatitis B, and one dose of Varicella vaccine.
To learn more about the health status of individual counties visit the department's county health profile website.

How are these activities funded?

Fiscal Year: 2020-21
Fund Dollars Positions


Creation of a Prescription Drug Donation Repository ProgramChapter 2020-23, Laws of Florida, created a Prescription Drug Donation Repository Program within the Department of Health to facilitate the donation and distribution of prescription drugs and supplies to eligible patients in the state.  

Where can I find related OPPAGA reports?

A complete list of related OPPAGA reports is available on our website.

Where can I get more information?

Other Reports
The Auditor General reports on department operations are located on its website.
Websites of Interest
Florida Department of Health, Emergency Preparedness and Response
Community Health Assessment Resource Tool Set (CHARTS)
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Healthy Living
Performance Information
Performance measures and standards for the department may be found in its Long Range Program Plan.

What are the applicable statutes?

Chapters 154, 376, 381, 382, 386, 383, 384, 385, 388, 392, 401, 402, 403, 404, 411, 489, 499, 500, 502, 513, 514, and 768, Florida Statutes.

Whom do I contact for help?

Office of Legislative Planning, 850-245-4006