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The Florida Department of Health in Miami-Dade County (DOH-Miami-Dade) is the local branch of a state public agency, the Florida Department of Health, created by the legislature in 1997. The Health Department is charged with promoting and protecting the health and safety of all residents and visitors to Miami-Dade County. Although the Florida Department of Health is a relatively new agency, the DOH-Miami-Dade has served the Greater Miami-Dade County community since the 1940's under various organizational structures.
The DOH-Miami-Dade represents the largest population and budget of the 67 county health departments operating under the Florida Department of Health, and is the second largest health department (following Palm Beach) in number of employees. The DOH-Miami-Dade has an operating budget of $71.3 million to deliver public health services to over 2.5 million residents of Miami-Dade County, 13% of the state's population. Approximately 27% of the budget is state money appropriated by the legislature, 50% is derived from Federal Funds, and 23% from local fees generated for services and other sources.
Protecting and Promoting Health
The responsibilities of the DOH-Miami-Dade are to:
- prevent epidemics and the spread of disease
- protect against environmental hazards
- prevent injuries
- promote and encourage healthy behaviors
- respond to disasters and assist communities in recovery efforts
- assure the quality and accessibility of health services
The DOH-Miami-Dade is charged with the broad responsibility of maintaining public health and safety in many areas including drinking water, sewage treatment, biomedical waste, public bathing places, and other areas of concern. The Department also responds to reports of communicable diseases such as invasive meningococcal disease, measles, pertussis, hepatitis, salmonellosis, and shigellosis; disease outbreaks such as food poisoning, gastroenteritis, hepatitis, etc. Additionally, the DOH-Miami-Dade participates in disaster planning and facilitates the staffing of shelters for people with special health care needs in the event of hurricanes or other disasters. The Department has the responsibility of maintaining vital records recording all births and deaths in the county and educating the public regarding healthy behaviors such as tobacco use, healthy weight, injury prevention, etc.
In addition to these global concerns, the DOH-Miami-Dade has identified certain populations to target specific programs or services based on its public health mission. These include providing testing and treatment for persons with preventable communicable diseases such as sexually transmitted diseases (STD), tuberculosis (TB), and HIV/AIDS. The DOH-Miami-Dade also offers a wide range of programs aimed at women, infants and children. These family health programs include school-based health clinics, immunizations, family planning clinics, nutritional programs, programs that target high-risk pregnant women and high-risk children, teen pregnancy programs and others.
The DOH-Miami-Dade has several facilities located throughout the county. There are three full service locations located in the North, Central and South regions of the county and six smaller health clinics that serve specific areas. Administrative functions are centralized at the downtown location.
The DOH-Miami-Dade maintains a staff of 750 employees of which 85% are classified as career service positions (the state's civil service system) and 15% are Other Personnel Services (OPS) employees. The Department's employees are a highly educated group with 34% of the career services employees having completed undergraduate college courses and 22% with graduate-level college education. Employee categories include: administrative/clerical (36%), managerial (5%), other professionals (22%), para-professionals (7%), physicians (1%), professional health care (22%) and support services (5%).
The DOH-Miami-Dade has many relationships with partners in the community on both a formal and informal basis. Almost $15 million is spent on outside contracts with more than 80 community providers.