Thursday, 13 December, 2018

County Health Rankings show mixed results for Rock County

Rockland ranks healthiest county in state, Sullivan remains next to worst County health rankings in the TN Valley
Ben Pena | 14 March, 2018, 23:27

Regional counties ranked as high as sixth - Nicollet - and as low as 57th - Faribault - in health outcomes in the annual county health measures released by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

Excellent clinical care, a wealth of opportunities for physical activity, and educational achievement helped the county lead the way in North Carolina, ranking 14th in the state for overall health outcomes, an 11-point gain over a year ago, and 3rd overall in health factors that predict a community's overall health moving forward.

Local Tennessee counties fared much better than Southwest Virginia.

The new Rankings State Reports call attention to key drivers of health such as children in poverty.

According to the 2018 Rankings, the five healthiest counties in Virginia, starting with most healthy, are Loudoun County, Arlington County, Fairfax County, Falls Church City and Poquoson City.

For example, in quality of life, the county's rank improved from 22nd to 20th, but the data supporting it was the same. For example, after almost a decade of improvement, we are seeing more babies born at low birthweight (8.2% in 2016, a 2% increase from 2014)-low birthweight is a key indicator of quality of life for mothers and babies.

But, she credits most of the county's public health work to its association with a regional group, the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership.

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Overall in Florida, 21 percent of children live in poverty, while the rate is 12 percent among the top-performing counties in the US and the national child poverty rate is 20 percent.

The rankings are based on factors including smoking, obesity, physical inactivity, access to healthy foods, children in poverty, unemployment, level of education, premature death, low birth weight and air and water quality. The Institute works across the full spectrum of factors that contribute to health. Those factors range from access to and quality of health care to socioeconomic factors, such as education, average income and employment figures.

The full state report found that 13 percent of children live in poverty in the state, compared to the 20 percent national average.

"The Mental Health Council of the Big Bend is working closely with the Florida Department of Health in Leon County to identify areas of need and strategize solutions", Jay Reeve, PhD, chair of the Mental Health Council of the Big Bend and CEO of the Apalachee Center, said.

For almost a decade, the County Health Rankings, released today, March 14th, have shown that where we live makes a difference in how well and how long we live.

The Rankings rely on a robust set of data and analysis that allows counties to see what is making residents healthy or sick and how counties compared to others within the state. "Livingston County continues to be innovative and collaborative, which are vital to creating a healthier community", Livingston County Administrator Ian M. Coyle said in a statement.

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