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The Florida Department of Health works to protect, promote, and improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, and community efforts.

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Closing The Gap Program

Florida Department of Health Gulf County


The Reducing Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities "Closing the Gap" grant program, section 381.7356, Florida Statutes, was signed into law on June 8, 2000.  These grants are utilized to stimulate the development of community and neighborhood-based organizations to improve health outcomes of racial and ethnic populations and promote disease prevention activities. 

Projects funded through the Closing the Gap grant program help stimulate broad-based participation and the support of both public and private entities by: 

  • Fostering partnerships between local governments, community groups and private sector health care organizations;
  • Helping communities address their most pressing health needs through targeted health screenings, education and awareness programs; and
  • Helping communities better understand the nature of health disparities among ethnic and racial groups


What’s happening in Gulf?

The Closing the Gap grantees have partnered with the Washington Improvement Center summer program, North Port St. Joe, on implementing the CATCH (Coordinated Approach to Child Health) Kids Club evidenced-based curriculum. CKC is a physical activity and nutrition education proram designed for elementary and middle school aged children in an afterschool or summer setting. CKC will provide children with at least 30 minutes of physical activity (moderate-to-vigorous) and 30 minutes of nutrition education.

CKC focuses on the following:

  • Helping after-school and recreation staff create and support a healthy environment.
  • Offers an easy-to-use format that both children and staff enjoys an is easy to implement. The program philosophy and resources helps lead safe and enjoyable activities, and encourage healthy habits.
  • CATCH Kids Club meets the National Afterschool Association Standards for Healthy Eating and Physical Activity, covering best practices for out-of school time for youth ages 5-14.

These projects focus on improved health outcomes of racial and ethnic populations from disease prevention activities; increased fruit and vegetable consumption and physical activity among youth; and enhanced community understanding of the nature of health disparities among ethnic and racial groups.



 Protocol for Assessing Community Excellence– Environmental Health

The Closing the Gap Program is currently working to unite and empower the NPSJ community to solve issues, resulting in drastic improvements in the quality of life. The purpose of the PACE-EH process is to ensure that community values, beliefs, expectation and perception are fully explored and incorporated into the actions determined by policymakers. By implementing  the PACE-EH process accomplishes the following public health advances.

  • Allows communities to express and define their environmental health issues themselves

  • Views environmental health more holistically than programmatically

  • Increase face-to-face communication between environmental health professionals and local leaders to establish the relationship between government and the public.

  • Empowers a community to action beyond the life of the project.

  • Addresses outstanding environmental health issues regarding chronic disease rates and health disparities.

  • Builds trust between the County Health Department and the community, which will improve the effectiveness of existing programs and other public health efforts.


Chronic Disease Health Information

For more information, contact 850-653-2111.