Published: Thu, March 15, 2018
Medical | By Josefina Yates

Health rankings place St. Johns top in Florida; Union, Putnam at bottom

Health rankings place St. Johns top in Florida; Union, Putnam at bottom

"The time is now to address long-standing challenges child poverty", Julie Willems Van Dijk, director of county health rankings with the foundation, said in a statement. Those factors range from access to and quality of health care to socioeconomic factors, such as education, average income and employment figures.

"We can see there are meaningful gaps that exist not only by place but also by race", said Karen Odegaard, community coach with the county rankings team.

The top five counties for health factors are: Ozaukee (No. 1); Waukesha (No. 2); Dane (No. 3); Washington (No. 4); and St. Croix (No. 5).

Robert W. Hicks, the Virginia Department of Health's deputy commissioner for community health services, said the rankings are beneficial in informing not only the health districts but the communities at large. The real value in the ranking is to give county health officials and leaders the health measures needed to plan broad-based public health strategies, she said.

The biggest problem reflected in the numbers is Bexar County's rate of sexually transmitted infections.

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Vigo County ranked 81st out of 92 counties for health outcomes. "We need to come together and collectively address child poverty and health, at the state level and in each county, if we want Wisconsin to proudly be one of the healthiest states in the country". Even highly ranked Brown and Nicollet counties are above the state average in adult obesity. Jones said as things continue to improve the ranking should improve as well. "We can not fully address any one issue without addressing the full range of challenges that keep people from leading healthy lives", Iser added.

Based on an analysis of more than 30 factors including housing, education, and jobs, the foundation rates Morris as the state's healthiest county and Cumberland as the least healthy.

Forsyth County is ranked as Georgia's healthiest county for the sixth straight year. The Institute works across the full spectrum of factors that contribute to health.

The latest County Health Rankings report confirms an unfortunate status quo: Philadelphia is not only the poorest big city in the USA, but the least healthy county in Pennsylvania - again.

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