Sarasota County’s Community Health Needs Assessment

County Description

Sarasota County is located in Florida State. The county is predominantly an urban area with a population of 379,448, as recorded in the 2010 census. The county covers an area of seven hundred and twenty-five square miles. Almost half of the county is covered with water. The main parks located within the county include Bayonne Parcel, South Lemon Bay Preserve, Manasota Scrub Preserve, and Poco Trail Preserve, among others. The main companies within Sarasota County offer transport, manufacturing, logistical support, and social services and are spread across the county. There are several private and public healthcare facilities spread around the county.

Population Demographics

The population in Sarasota County comprises 35 percent of the total population within Florida State. The actual population of blacks is 379,448. Females are 50.2% of the population. On age distribution, persons below six years represent 6.8%, 6-19 years represent 14.5%, 20-64 years represent 69.6%, and those above 64% represent 9.1% of the total population. The whites within Sarasota County represent 92.65% of the total population, followed by the African Americans, who are 4.18% of the population. The Native Americans are 0.22%, Asians are 0.77%, and Pacific Islanders are 1.14%, while the rest of the ethnic groups represent 1.02%. The population density of the county is 34,920 per square mile. The average house unit density is 13,180 per square mile.

Physical and Social Determinants of Health

Economic Stability

Due to a poverty level of 20%, the average income is $3000 per month. The household income is $32,135, while the median income per family is $36,188. Per capita income is $16,775. The employment rate stands at 69 percent. The informal sector accounts for 29 percent, while those in the private sector account for 71%. The major employers are the government, local authorities, and private businesses (Sarasota County, 2015).


This community is characterized by a constant population growth rate of 4%. At present, almost the entire population is literate, and this is projected to hit the 100% mark in the near future. Besides, those with a college education account for 35% of the population.

Social and Community

The social services include affordable education, entertainment, and parks and recreation, centers. The main language spoken by this community is English. However, some members speak French, Spanish, and German besides English. The majority of members of this county are Republicans and belong to political clusters that associate with conservative politics. Among the notable, renowned cultural centers include the Sarasota Museum, several artists, and filmmakers.

Health and Healthcare

There are several community health programs run by organizations within this community. The community is conscious of their health, birth control, healthy eating and living habits, and adaptation of preventive health policies. Reflectively, the government of the United States finances most of the healthcare services. These services have been subsidized and are currently afforded by the members of this community. However, the majority of the members of this community prefer visiting these health facilities when very sick.

Neighborhood and built environment

The housing system is very sustainable within the county, and over 75% of the population can afford decent shelter. The main source of community water supply in this community is the aquifer system. The community has well-maintained solid and liquid waste disposal and management authority. Since the unemployment rate is low, the rate of crime reported is equally low. The majority of the population has access to healthy food.

Health Behaviors

Alcohol consumption

The alcoholic consumption rate stands at 32%, with drug abuse more prevalent among young adults.

Consumption of five fruits and vegetables

Due to low income, the consumption patterns of this community align with basic needs. Despite this, the majority of this population is aware of a healthy diet and is at the forefront of promoting healthy eating habits.

Physical inactivity

The main leisure activities include music, social sporting events, entertainment, and neighborhood talent shows. The main health hazards posed by these recreational facilities include injuries, cuts, infections, and deaths.

Tobacco Use

Tobacco smoking is prevalent among young male adults and is associated with ten deaths per 10,000 persons.

Access to healthcare

Contraceptive use has been embraced by this community due to intensive campaigns on the need for family planning. On average, 65 percent of the females have used contraceptives in their life. Despite the fact that access to healthcare services stands at 90%, the majority of the population prefer going to health facilities when very sick.

Health Outcomes

Major causes of death

The three major causes of death are cancer, diabetes, and lifestyle diseases across ethnic groups. There is no major disparity in terms of the number of average deaths for each ethnic group. Lifestyle diseases are responsible for 29% of the deaths, followed by cancer which stands at 9%, and diabetes at 4.5%.

Maternal and child health indicators

The infant mortality rates stand at 4.5 deaths per a thousand live births for whites, 4.9 for African Americans, and 5.2 for other races combined. This is a registered decrease from 6.4 deaths on average per thousand live births in 2000 to the current 4.5 deaths per thousand live births across the races. The death rate per 100,000 of the population stands at 18.27 for whites, 20.8 for African Americans, and 23.19 for the rest of the ethnic groups as of 2010. The average life span of the population stands at 48 years.

Chronic disease prevalence

In the last five years, the morbidity rates for cancer and other chronic ailments have been on the rise. For instance, the incidence rate for cancer has risen from 22 per 1000 per year in 2004 to 28 per 1000 per year in 2010 across ethnic groups. However, the prevalence rate has decreased from 20 per 1000 per year in 2004 to the present 18 per 1000 per year in 2010. The mortality rate for cancer has increased from 32 per 100,000 to 48 per 100,000 from 2004 to 2010. As indicated in the government data, 89.9 percent of the population is enlisted in affordable cancer-preventive health care services. Similar rates were reported for lifestyle diseases such as Diabetes and Alzheimer.

Health status

The prevalence of obesity, overweight, poor dental health, and poor general health is generally low since all the population has access to quality and highly subsidized services. Besides, most of the population are aware of diet and prefer living a healthy lifestyle. However, cases of obesity and overweight are on the rise, especially among school-going children. The above indicators are summarized in the tables below.

Domain: Access to Care
Indicator Sarasota County Florida United States
% No medical insurance 20.8 17.5 16.5
% Children with no health insurance 14.3 12.5 9.8
% Children enrolled in Medicaid 36.7 32.6 26.0
% Children enrolled in NC Health Choice 5.2 5.9 NA
Primary Care Physicians/100,000 population 149 83.5
Dentists/100,000 population 37.8 40.5 58.4
Kindergarten Tooth Decay Rates 27.7% 22% 26% whites
36% A-A
43% Hispanic

Communicable diseases

Domain: Communicable Diseases
Indicator Sarasota County Florida United States
TB rate per 100,000 population (2010) 5.0 4.5 4.9
Hepatitis A rate per 100,000 population
2004: 17 cases
Hepatitis B rate per 100,000 population
2004: 11 cases
1.9 2.6
Hepatitis C rate per 100,000 population
2004: 4 cases
2.9 0.2 0.4


Domain: Cancer
Indicator Sarasota County Florida United States
Lung Cancer
Mortality rate per 100,000 population 68.7 61.6 54.2
Incidence rate per 100,000 78.8 69.7 67.5
Breast Cancer (Female)
Mortality rate per 100,000 females 27.7 26.5 14.4
Female incidence per 100,000 females 167.5 149.5 132.2
Colon/Rectum Cancer
Mortality rate per 100,000 population 22.7 20.0 19.1
Incidence rate per 100,000 males 64.7 48.4 52.0
Prostate Cancer
Mortality rate per 100,000 males 36.7 36.9 31.5
Incidence rate per 100,000 males 154.5 152.5 166.7
Incidence All Cancer 494.3 445.3

Maternal and Child Health

Domain: Maternal and Child Health (2010)
Indicator Sarasota County Florida United States
Infant mortality rate per 1,000 live births
7.1 8.8 6.9
Black infant mortality per 1,000 live births 8.1 15.6 14.1
White infant mortality per 1,000 live births 7.0 6.2 5.8
Neonatal infant mortality rate per 1,000 live births(<28 days of age) (2008-2010) 5.7 6.0 4.6
The black neonatal infant mortality rate 8.9 11.2 7.3
The white neonatal infant mortality rate 3.3 4.1 3.8
Low birth weight (<2,500 g) per 100 births
11.6 9.1 7.9
Minority births <2500 g 15.9 13.4 13.0
White births <2500 g 8.3 7.4 6.5
Very low birth weight (<1500 g) per 100 births
2.8 1.9 1.4
Minority births <1500 g 3.3 3.6 3.0
White births <1500 g 2.4 1.0
Teen pregnancy rate per 1,000 teens
(ages 15-19)(2008-2010)
39.8 64.1
Minority pregnancies 54.5 87.3 153.3
White pregnancies 27.0 53.6 71.4
Smoked during pregnancy 8.9 12.5 11.4
Post neonatal infant mortality per 1,000 live births (>28 days <1 year) (2008-2010) 1.4 2.8 2.3
Black post neonatal rate 1.1 4.5 4.8
White post neonatal rate 1.7 2.1 1.9
Immunization status at 2 years of age NA 82%
Immunization status at school entry NA 99%

Analysis of Health Outcomes and Behaviors

Three assets (strengths) of the county

Properly organized healthcare centers and support

As the nursing fraternity, it is easy to roll out community-based initiatives for addressing the normative and comparative needs of those infected and affected by different health concerns since the healthcare providers and support centers are well organized.

Potential Public and Private Partnerships

The potential partners for health intervention strategy would be the local council, local self-help groups, local clinics, health centers, and government agencies concerned with chronic ailments. Fortunately, the county has well-organized potential partners that would make any intervention strategy sustainable in the short and long run (Chisholm & Evans, 2007).

Diverse population

It would be easy to roll out a flexible intervention program incorporating different personnel since the county has a diverse population represented by different ethnic groups.

Three health issues and disparities in the county

The main impending disaster in sewage management is the leaks from damaged pipes, which sometimes take a long to repair, thus exposing the residents to contagious diseases. Besides, there are rising cases of diabetes and obesity across the three ethnic groups. In addition, the high rate of cancer prevalence is a threat to the wellbeing of the population (Fielding & Briss, 2006).


Chisholm, D., & Evans, D. (2007). Economic evaluation in health: saving money or improving care? Journal of Medical Economics, 10(1), 325-337.

Fielding, J., & Briss, P. (2006). Promoting evidence-based public health policy: Can we have better evidence and more action? Health Affairs Journal, 25(4), 969-978.

Sarasota County. (2015). Quick Facts from the US Census Bureau. Web.

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