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The Marion County Community Health Survey is underway

By Florida Department of Health in Marion County

May 09, 2022


Ocala, Fla. — Creating a healthier, more vibrant community does not happen in a vacuum. It requires collaboration, determination, and information. 

Which is why the Florida Department of Health in Marion County and its partners at AdventHealth Ocala and the WellFlorida Council are seeking the community’s input for our new health survey. 

As of today, we invite Marion County residents to visit to help us learn which health and wellness issues are most important to them. The survey takes about 10 minutes to complete. (The survey also may be accessed by using the QR code above.)

A separate survey is available to gain feedback from local healthcare providers. That can be found at

Responses are gathered anonymously, protecting the privacy of respondents. The information provided by the respondents will be compiled in a report that will be released this fall. Community leaders will use that report to chart strategies to make all of Marion County healthier. 

In years past, AdventHealth Ocala also has done its own assessment. For 2022, DOH-Marion and AdventHealth decided to combine forces to better gauge our community’s overall health and wellness needs. WellFlorida Council, our region’s health council and a consultant for health causes in our area, is facilitating the survey. 

“Our partnership with AdventHealth in conducting the Community Health Assessment is a force multiplier in working toward a healthier Marion County,” said Mark Lander, administrator of the Department of Health in Marion County. 

“But the process starts with the residents of our community. The assessment is like a GPS system guiding us on how to improve the health and wellness of all of Marion County. But we need the community’s help in determining which direction to go. That’s why I encourage residents to assist us by taking a few minutes to complete the survey.” 

Kimberly Williams, director of Community Benefit for AdventHealth West Florida Division, said, “AdventHealth is committed to building a stronger, healthier community in Marion County and we look forward to working with the Marion County Department of Health to identify and better understand the needs of the communities we serve.” 

“This assessment is an essential step in creating collaborative community initiatives that remove barriers and in turn create access to proper care and a better quality of life,” she added. 

Christine Abarca, senior planner for community initiatives with WellFlorida Council, said, “Quantitative data from an array of datasets can only describe part of a community’s health needs and health issues. Gathering the community’s perspective of health status, health issues and problems, and the healthcare experience is essential to fully understanding a community’s health and quality of life.” 

“Analysis of the data collected through a robust survey effort results in a stronger understanding of community issues, concerns, and perceptions about quality of life through the lens of community members, healthcare providers, and other community partners,” she continued. “These data help inform the identification of strategic health issues, point to priority populations, and suggest potential strategies to address problems.” 

The link for the survey will be available until June 10. This is part of a process that DOH-Marion must conduct every three years in order to update the Community Health Improvement Plan for Marion County. 

For more information about the surveys, contact Kimberly Williams, community benefit director at AdventHealth Ocala, at or 813-803-4028, or Craig Ackerman, operations director for the Department of Health in Marion County, at or 352-644-2588. 

About the Florida Department of Health 

The department, nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, works to protect, promote and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county and community efforts. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter at @HealthyFla. For more information about the Florida Department of Health please visit 

About AdventHealth Ocala 

AdventHealth Ocala is a 385-bed full-service community hospital that opened in 1898. In August 2018, AdventHealth Ocala became a part of the AdventHealth network. Within the hospital network there are two 24/7 ER facilities, one onsite and another offsite, to better meet the needs of Marion County. The hospital offers many inpatient services including, labor and delivery through The Baby Place®, Orthopedic unit, comprehensive cardiovascular surgery unit, and a wound care center. AdventHealth Ocala is accredited by The Joint Commission and has received recognition from American Heart Association and American Stroke Association. They are accredited by the American College of Cardiology in Chest Pain, Heart Failure, Cardiac Cath Lab, Electrophysiology, Transcatheter Valve Certified and awarded the HeartCARETM Center designation. They are also a Certified Advanced Primary Stroke Center as well as a Center of Excellence in Robotic Surgery. 

About WellFlorida Council

WellFlorida Council is the statutorily designated local health council that serves 16 North Central Florida counties. The mission of WellFlorida Council is to forge partnerships in planning, research and service that build healthier communities. WellFlorida achieves this mission by providing communities the insights, tools, and services necessary to identify their most pressing issues (for example, community health assessments and community health improvement plans) and to design and implement approaches to overcoming those issues.


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