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Okeechobee County

Okeechobee County

(Click highlighted county to visit Okeechobee County Health Department website)

Dr. Viamonte Ros, met with the staff of the Okeechobee County Health Department at a New Employee Council appreciation luncheon. She made some informal remarks thanking the staff for all they do for the citizens of Okeechobee County.

She was then given a tour of the Health Department by the County Health Administrator, introduced to individual staff, and given an overview of the programs we coordinate and facilitate.

The County-State contract was signed in a signing ceremony. It was followed by an informal community health forum. In attendance were of the local hospital (Raulerson Hospital), Florida Community Health Centers, and other interested parties. The items discussed were, fiscal realities facing public health and community heath care, heath and wellness treatment gaps and shortfalls in the community, and ways to decreases these shortfalls and gaps.

On behalf of the Okeechobee County Health Department, I would like to thank Dr. Viamonte Ros for taking time out of her busy schedule to spend the afternoon with us; we look forward to her returning to Okeechobee County for another visit.

Florida’s first State Surgeon General, Ana M. Viamonte Ros, MD., MPH, visited Okeechobee
Friday to discuss the community’s concerns over rural health care issues. She met with
health care providers and other community leaders as part of her Three Ps program.

By Lorna Jablonski, Okeechobee News

Florida’s first State Surgeon General, Ana M. Viamonte Ros, M.D., MPH, visited Okeechobee on Friday as part of her Three Ps Tour.

The three Ps stand for prevention, preparedness and personal responsibility.

Dr. Viamonte Ros visited Okeechobee as part of her pledge to visit all 67 county health departments between Public Health Week 2007 and Public Health Week 2008 to raise awareness of steps that can be taken to improve health, prevent future disease and plan for emergencies.

The Three Ps address such issues as nutritious diet, exercise, smoking, immunizations, regular visits to a physician and how to have an emergency plan in place and supplies available to handle any type of man-made or natural disaster.

During the visit, health care providers and other members of the community had the opportunity to meet Dr. Viamonte Ros and discuss the problems they are encountering in a rural area such as Okeechobee.

Mark Chittum, of the Okeechobee County Health Department, gave a presentation to explain what his department does and some of the problems they are facing in Okeechobee County. Dr. Viamonte Ros spoke with members of the audience asking about their concerns and wishes for the future. The tour coincides with the 10th anniversary of the Florida Department of Health and National Public Health Week.

Dr. Viamonte Ros was named secretary of the Florida Department of Health by Florida Governor Charlie Crist in January 2007. On July 1, 2007, she officially became Florida’s first State Surgeon General. She is the first woman to be named to this position. Dr. Viamonte Ros’ family came to the United States in 1960 from Cuba. She earned her medical degree from the University of Miami School of Medicine in 1983, graduating with several awards and honors. She served her residency in radiology at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami Beach and the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology in Washington, D.C.

In 2005, she received her Master of Public Health (MPH) degree from the Harvard School of Public Health. She was the recipient of the Gareth Greed Award for Excellence in Public Health, the highest award given to a student. Dr. Viamonte Ros worked at Armor Correctional Health Services, where she organized and monitored the health care services in Florida’s correctional institutions. She traveled to the Dominican Republic to assist in the prevention of the spread of HIV among inmates. She has written articles concerning mental health, radiology and family health. She also lectures at numerous health care symposiums.