Florida Health Department and CDC begin health and nutrition survey with Bay County residents

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PANAMA CITY, Fla. — The Florida Health Department is beginning to conduct comprehensive health exams with Bay County residents.

One of those residents, Melinda Hall, spent her morning aboard the mobile exam center, found outside the FSU Panama City campus. 

“A year and a half after the storm I think it’s vital to know where we’re at health-wise,” said Hall.

She is one of around six hundred Bay County residents who have been selected to participate in a national health survey, conducted by the Center for Disease Control and the Health Department. 

The survey collects health and nutritional data from residents in order to get a better idea of the overall health status of the community and the nation as a whole.

“If we know what the health of the nation is, public policy-makers are better able to make health policy,” said Victor Barajas, the manager of this health study.

Selected participants are getting a comprehensive health exam valued at $4,000, checking everything from vision and dental health to bone density and bloodwork. They are also compensated for their time and travel. 

All the information is then turned into statistical data which is studied and used to create a healthier country.

“It’s an investment into the future,” said Barajas. “What we’re testing for is to help us have a better understanding of health all across the U.S.”

He said it was because of surveys like this, which have been conducted since the 1970s, that the adverse effects of lead exposure were discovered; prompting the removal of the substance from paint and gasoline. 

The survey will be going on through the end of January. 

“Our quality of life is directly impacted by health and vice versa,” said Hall.

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