Neighborhoods are important. Where you live shapes your lifestyle and habits. Social and physical environments, including access to healthcare, parks, and other health-promoting resources, play a major role in your health.
The Sylvester Comprehensive Cancer Center’s catchment, or service, area is South Florida, a region that spans over 10,000 square miles and is located within the Southeast “corner” of the Florida peninsula. Sylvester’s catchment area is made up of four counties: Miami-Dade, Broward, Palm Beach, and Monroe.
South Florida is a unique place. It features vibrant diversity that can’t be found anywhere else. South Florida is home to more than six million people, or approximately one-third of Florida’s entire population, and includes a mix of urban and rural counties. Nearly half of all people living in South Florida were born outside of the United States, and more than half speak a language other than English as their primary tongue.
Factors Affecting Health
In South Florida, there are many factors that affect the health of neighborhood residents, and impact people’s ability to prevent, detect and treat diseases such as cancer. Some of these factors include:
20% of adults are ages 65 and older – the largest population of individuals in this age group in the U.S.
Median household income is $48,431 (compared to $53,889 for the U.S.)
14% of people live below the federal poverty line (compared to 11% for the U.S.)
11% of people in South Florida are unemployed (compared to 9% for the U.S.)
24% of individuals don’t have health insurance (compared to 13% in the U.S.)
21% of South Floridians smoke (compared to 15% in the U.S.)
27% of people report no leisure time for physical activity (compared to 23% in the U.S.)
The following are a few of the neighborhoods in South Florida where you may come across the Game Changer Vehicle:
Home to many Haitian immigrants and their families, Little Haiti has become one of the cultural hearts of the Haitian diaspora. About 42 percent of residents were born outside of the United States, and over 60% speak a language other than English at home. However, the neighborhood is also experiencing new development resulting in changing demographics and over 40% of the housing units being considered vacant. Here, about 40% did not have health insurance.
The southernmost municipality in South Florida, Florida City is a major agricultural area that serves as a mainland entrance to the Florida Keys. Florida City is home to large Black/African-American (53%) and Hispanic (44%) populations. With 29% uninsured, Florida City has the highest rate of new cancer cases and cancer deaths among neighborhoods in Miami-Dade County.
The sixth largest city in Florida, Hialeah has the highest percentage of Cuban and Cuban American residents of any city in the United States (76%). In 2016, 93% of residents reported speaking Spanish at home. Over 35% do not have health insurance.
Known around the world for its beach resorts and Art Deco architecture, Miami Beach is an island city connected to mainland Miami-Dade County through bridges. A popular tourist destination, Miami Beach attracted 8.6 million visitors in 2016 – far exceeding its estimated 91,500 residents. About 27% do not have health insurance.