DEAR FRIENDS – FULL Report
What a difference a year makes. The phrase may sound cliche, but it really rings true for the Safe and Healthy Children’s Coalition. A year ago we were little more than a name and a logo. Today we have a dedicated Board of Directors representing a broad swath of agencies serving Collier County children. We recently hired a full-time Executive Director. Most importantly, we have set in motion a variety of synergistic programs targeting defined issues adversely impacting Collier youth. Descriptions of these programs are detailed in this report.
I emphasize the word defined, because our Coalition is a data driven organization. The Coalition has developed partnerships with agencies currently responsible for the mortality and morbidity data collection such as emergency rooms (NCH Healthcare System and Physicians Regional Healthcare System), District Twenty Medical Examiner Collier County, Florida Department of Children and Families and the Bureau of Vital Statistics Florida Department of Health to prioritize injury and heath related areas to be addressed.
In 2012, the Coalition will continue to dedicate its resources and develop programs which focus on:
– Drowning Prevention/Water Safety
– SIDS/Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths
– Childhood Obesity
According to the Florida Department of Health, Bureau of Vital Statistics, drowning is the leading cause of death of children ages one to four and suffocation (sleep related death) is the leading cause of death for children less than 1 year of age in Collier County.
Also according to Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) Circuit 20 – Child Deaths 1997-2009, drowning and unsafe sleeping practices accounted for 77 deaths, or 38% of the total deaths investigated by DCF in the 13 year period studied.”
Every year the Collier County Health Department and Collier County Public Schools screen childhood BMI in select elementary and middle school grades. Of the 10922 children screened in 2010-2011, 2506 or 23% had a BMI > 95% (obese range), 1997 students of 18% of those screened had a BMI between 85-95% (at risk for overweight range). In 15 public elementary schools, more than 25% of the children screened were in the obese range. With the unyielding commitment of our Board of Directors and Coalition partners, the Safe and Healthy Children’s Coalition of Collier County can begin to really dream large and imagine a county with no deaths from Drowning or SIDS/Other Sleep-Related Infant Deaths and the reduction of Childhood Obesity.
We look forward to working with all our member agencies, gracious donors and committed volunteers in 2012. Collier County is fortunate to have a Coalition focused on keeping Collier County children safe and healthy.
Again, thank you for your support to our Coalition and have a wonderful Safe & Healthy New Year!
Dr. Todd Vedder, Chair