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It's a New Day in Public Health.

The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.

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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.

Mr. Kent's Bio Picture

Douglas Kent, MPH

Mr. Douglas Kent, MPH, has 40 years of public health service with Florida Department of Health holding various positions of authority. Kent joined the Florida Department of Health in 1976 as an Environmental Health Specialist at the Florida Department of Health in Bay County.  In 1984 he moved to the Gulf County Health Department as the Environmental Health Director. Kent was promoted to Administrator of the Gulf County Health Department in 1996. In 2002, he took on the management of the federally qualified health center for the area, Saint Joseph Care of Florida, Inc. Then in February of 2010 Kent’s public health career come full circle as he returned to the Florida Department of Health in Bay County as the Administrator.

Kent’s vision is “100% access, 0% disparities in health care to the public.” Kent was responsible for bringing dental services, a federally qualified health center and new health department buildings to Gulf County. In Bay County, he led the way for dental care access for children on Medicaid, getting health techs in every Bay County school and his work brought diabetes and pre-diabetes education programs to Bay and surrounding counties.

Kent holds a B.S. in Biology from the University of West Florida. He has a Master’s in Public Health from the University of South Florida. He also attended the Public Health Leadership Institute and received education to be a Public Health Accreditation Board Examiner.

Kent has received several awards including the Pioneer of the Year Award and runner up for the Florida Blue Sapphire Award. He has also been involved with several civic organizations throughout his career and is currently a board member for the Community Health Task Force, Alignment Bay County and the Early Education Coalition.