The purpose of public health intervention is to prevent and manage diseases, injuries and other health conditions through surveillance of cases and the promotion of healthy behaviors. Its aim is to prevent the occurrence or reoccurrence of health problems by implementing educational programs, developing policies, administering services, and conducting research. In many cases, treating a disease or controlling a pathogen can be vital to preventing it in others, such as during an outbreak.
We work with our community partners to diligently pursue our mission. You can help by volunteering for a health-related organization or finding a way to promote health, and make your opinion known to our local, state, and federal representatives. It takes every one doing their part to make Bay County a healthier place to live, work and play.
With the State Surgeon General’s vision for Florida being the Healthiest State in the Nation, I am proud that we are progressing closer to that goal every day. One of our main concentrations to accomplish a healthier nation, is our Diabesity (Diabetes + Obesity) screenings throughout Bay County. Our goal is to educate the public in better eating habits, diabetes maintenance and treatment and pre-diabetes risk factors. Once educated the public are provided with the tools necessary to make better lifestyle choices. The ultimate goal is to partner with our local government to make changes in our own county.
The three priority areas we are working in from our Community Health Improvement Plan are healthy weight/healthy lifestyles, mental health/substance use, and chronic diseases including diabetes. These areas of concentration were developed from community surveys and community review of health data. The plan started in 2015 and will be continued through 2020. Accomplishments include; a farmers' market at DOH-Bay to serve persons living in food desserts, the start of a Recovery Oriented System of Care in Bay County with the completition of a sequential intercept map and establishment of subcommittees, and a new heart failure education program to begin in January 2019.
Interim Health Officer- Sandon S. Speedling, MHS, CPM
Sandon S. Speedling, MHS, CPM, was appointed Interim Administrator/Health Officer for the Florida Department of Health in Bay County in May of 2019. Speedling was most recently employed as the Administrator/Health Officer for the Florida Department of Health in Jackson County serving from May 2018 until May 2019. He previously served as Acting Administrator/Health Officer from May 2016 through May 2018. Prior to his appointment in Jackson County, he served as Assistant County Health Department Director for the Florida Department of Health in Bay County from February 2009 through May 2016.
Known for his advocacy and leadership, Speedling has also served as the Public Information Officer and Patient Health Advocate for the health department. He is committed to advancing the agency’s mission to protect, promote, and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, and community efforts. Speedling is a public health professional with more than 27 years of health care experience in private, not-for profit, state and county organizations. He actively strives to improve public health practices and influence key communities to promote healthy lifestyle choices among the populations.
Mr. Speedling is a 1992 graduate of the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg, Mississippi, where he received a leadership scholarship in pursuit of his Bachelor's degree in Psychology with a Minor in Business. In 1994, he received his Master's degree in Health Services Administration from Mississippi College in Clinton, Mississippi. He was awarded the Certified Public Manager designation from The Florida Center for Public Management at Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida, in 2014.
Speedling has been a Public Health Accreditation Board site reviewer for five years and successfully assisted the Lorain County Public Health System in Elyria, Ohio through the accreditation process. He is actively focused on providing quality leadership to the Florida Department of Health in Bay County to be recognized as a high performing county health department. In addition, Mr. Speedling currently serves as President for the Florida Public Health Association, where he previously has held 1st Vice President, 2nd Vice President, Secretary and Member-At- Large board positions.
In 2018, Speedling was recognized as Mississippi College’s Masters of Health Services Administration Distinguished Alumni of the Year. Sandon S. Speedling is married to Dr. Diane D. Speedling, M.D., Board Certified Anesthesiologist and Medical Director for The Surgery Center at Sacred Heart Medical Park in Destin. They enjoy traveling abroad, attending sporting events and being active residents of the Emerald Coast.