Published: Thu, March 15, 2018
Health Care | By Belinda Paul

County Health Rankings report released Wednesday morning

County Health Rankings report released Wednesday morning

Washington County ranked fourth for its health factors and outcomes. The order changes when it comes to health factors: Collin, No. 1, Rockwall, No. 2 and Denton, No. 6.

"It is very concerning that our community hasn't progressed more", Mayor Allen Joines said.

Greene County's health outcomes improved from 53rd in 2017 to 47th this year while its health factors improved from 47th to 39th.

"What this data shows is that by addressing social determinants like housing, access to education, and employment opportunities, we lay the groundwork for better health to take root", says BCHHS Health Division Director, Jan Shepard.

At the other end of the list, Quitman has a high rate of premature deaths and of low birthweight babies.

The report found that the five healthiest localities in the state were: Loudoun County, Arlington County, Fairfax County, Falls Church and Poquoson. Since then, Forsyth has ranged from 22nd in 2011 to 43rd in 2016. The Institute works across the full spectrum of factors that contribute to health. Those issues, echoed in today's report, include issues such as safe and affordable housing and income inequality. These rankings use specific data related to health outcomes and health factors to evaluate community health nationwide. Looking at differences by place and race offers a more complete picture of health.

Statewide, the new report says 15 percent of Iowa children live in poverty.

McLean County has a 29 percent adult obesity rate which is higher than the state average. "So even though we may not see progress in the short term, that doesn't mean that there won't be progress in the long-term". Poverty limits opportunity and increases the chance of poor health. 2 and 3 in the rankings.

"Participants will learn new ways to address health and gain a greater understanding of which organizations in our community provide programs and services that address the social determinants of health", he said.

Trujillo, of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, cautions that Wyandotte County's relative ranking may have remained static because, while it has improved in some areas, other counties have improved at the same time.

Just like we get yearly check-ups.

"All counties experience ups and downs".

New this year, the report shows racial and ethnic disparities for a few select categories - "that information is quite hard to obtain", Pezzino said.

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