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Southwest Virginia fares poorly in new health rankings

14 March 2018

Lancaster came in eighth in the state on health outcomes and 10th on health factors in the ranking by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

These rankings use specific data related to health outcomes and health factors to evaluate community health nationwide.

"No one in America should have less of a chance to be healthy because of where they live, how much money they make or the color of their skin, and yet our analysis shows that's what's happening", Bournhonesque said. Nicollet and Brown counties again finished strong in fifth and seventh place, but none of the others finished higher than 40th. I am proud to see our ranking improve, however we can not stop here. Blue Earth County ranked 54th in the measure. "In the first years, we have brought the rate to even with the state level, with the program participants being recruited from patients flagged as having risk factors in their health records for preterm delivery".

The lowest-ranking counties, in descending order, are Monroe, Carbon, Schuylkill, Luzerne, Susquehanna, Lawrence, Cambria, Fulton, Fayette and Philadelphia.

In addition to several social and economic factors area, Livingston County has strengths in the health outcome areas such as quality of life and length of life. "There are things you can do within your state or your county or your community more locally that can change these indicators".

The counties are in the beginning stages of their next five-year cycle, so within a year or two county health teams could have all new action steps to address the problems highlighted in the report.

Also, Clinical Care in Broome County received high marks for 2018.

For example, in quality of life, the county's rank improved from 22nd to 20th, but the data supporting it was the same. Together the two organizations release annual rankings for each state's counties. The Kansas report ranks 103 counties, and it can be found at countyhealthrankings.org. "Look at the median income in the upper (ranked) counties and the lower (ranked) counties and see how that translates to health". Chlamydia is the most common bacterial sexually transmitted disease.

Lancaster County is holding steady as one of the healthiest of Pennsylvania's 67 counties, according to the latest edition of an annual ranking. That measure includes the percentage reporting fair or poor health (13); the number of poor physical health days (3.4) and poor mental health days (3.6) in a 30-day period; and percentage of low birth weights (6.5).

The rankings look at more than 30 different factors, including poverty, education, transportation, housing and jobs. The county's poverty rate is 50 percent among black children and 37 percent among Hispanic children.

"As the state team lead agency analyzing the rankings for Pennsylvania, we find that the information is an important way to understand the relationship between where we live and our health", said Francine Axler, director of Philadelphia-based Public Health Management Corporation's (PHMC) Community Health Database.

Southwest Virginia fares poorly in new health rankings