BAY COUNTY, Fla. (WMBB) — The Florida Department of Health in Bay County is trying to determine the state of the community’s health.

Every five years they hold a Health Summit and this year is the year, the summit helps identify potential problems and ways to address them.

“To look at what’s important in our community as far as health initiatives over the next 3 to 5 years. As we all know, our county and our state and the world is coming off of battling the pandemic over the last two years,” Bay County Department of Health Health Officer Sandon Speedling said.

Speedling said this summit helps them refocus on those health initiatives.

They conduct surveys and do group exercises to discuss community problems that need to be should be addressed.

“You’ll see what is important to them as far as the primary care health in the area. Looking at secondary health that is out there as well, looking at the different certain demographics are impacting the health of these demographics are in our county and how they are accessing health care,” Speedling said.

Mental health, affordable housing, transportation, and access to healthcare were the main issues discussed during Wednesday’s meeting.

The last community assessment five years ago identified issues like diabetes, substance abuse, and mental illness.

“What are the priorities, as far as, overall community health in Bay County, what areas we need to focus on and really listening to those community partners,” Speedling said. “That’s probably most important as a health department is that we can really listen, pay attention to what our community partners are saying and that’s why they are here, that’s why we invited them here.”

The health department will hold two more health summits within the next few months.