Back to List

Straight Talk
A weekly update from management on the issues that matter most.

Mar 9, 2017
As a health system caring for the people of Southwest Florida, we are actively improving well-being, not only by managing illness and injury, but also by identifying ways in which we can create a healthier and more active community for all our residents. We are bringing together schools, grocery stores, restaurants, employers, civic organizations and other groups in a true cross-community collaboration. 15,000 early adopters (and counting) have joined us in this grassroots transformation, momentum that underscores our residents’ commitment to living their healthiest lives.—Allen S. Weiss

The good news just doesn’t stop.  The quote above for a national press release reviewed by CBS news, the New York Times, the Naples Daily News, and many others was in response to wonderful news earlier this week naming the Naples-Immokalee-Marco Island Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA) the healthiest and happiest region in America for the second straight year in a row.  Below are our impressive statistics:


  • #1 in 2016, retaining our #1 rank from 2015.  Naples MSA is one of only 3 communities to rank #1 more than once since 2008.
  • Naples MSA has a 2016 Well-Being Index score of 66.3—one of only two communities with score above 66, and one of only seven communities with a score above 65.
  • Naples MSA has high well-being rankings across all five elements.  In 2016, we were #3 in physical well-being, #1 in community well-being, #11 in financial well-being, #3 in social well-being, and #3 in purpose well-being.


  • Lowest lifetime diagnoses of depression in the nation (7.0%)
  • Highest percentage of residents thriving in community well-being, with a 54.8% thriving rate, compared to the national average of 39.9%
  • Highest percentage of healthy eating in the nation, with 75.3% of residents, indicating they ate healthy all day the previous day, compared to the national average of 63.2%
  • Highest in the country for those who like what they do every day.  86.9% of those living in the Naples MSA report they like what they do every day, compared to the 77.3% of the nation.
  • Relatively low smoking rate (13.7%), well under the national average of 18.0% in 2016
  • 6th lowest obesity rate at 19.3%, compared to the national average of 28.4%
  • Lowest levels of those with stress, with 27.9% indicating feeling significant stress the previous day, compared to the national average of 40.0%

Opportunities for Improvement

  • Low health insurance coverage at only 83.3% compared to the 89.0% national average
  • High percentage of those with a lifetime diagnosis of heart attack (4.9%) compared to 3.9% nationally
  • High percentage of those with elevated cholesterol (26.9%) compared to 22.8% nationally
  • High percentage of those with a lifetime diagnosis of cancer (12.3%) compared to 7.1% nationally
  • 48th in the nation for frequent exercise, with 56.2% of residents indicating exercising 30+ min, 3 days in the last week (above the national average of 53.4%), but an area that could continue to see improvement

Movement from 2015

Naples experienced a statistically significant improvement from 2015 to 2016 in overall physical well-being, those thriving in life evaluation, those thriving in financial well-being, and those having health insurance coverage.  The NCH journey to help everyone live a longer, happier, and healthier life is progressing.  Even though we remain first, we still have opportunities to improve locally and to share our success across America.

Allen Weiss, MD

President and CEO

You may contact Dr. Allen Weiss and The NCH Healthcare System by clicking here.