Medicine

Southwest Virginia fares poorly in new health rankings

Southwest Virginia fares poorly in new health rankings

The ranking lists factors including poverty, crime, access to health care and healthy food.

But the news isn't all good. Locally, Tioga County ranked 40, Steuben at 45, Schuyler at 46, and Chemung at 49.

Somerset County came in at No. 34. Nicollet County jumped from 13th in 2017 to 6th in 2018.

Also, the county has the second highest income inequality, or the ratio of household income at the 80th percentile to that at the 20th percentile, in the state. The rankings use the most recently available data from such sources as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Census Bureau.

The rankings look at more than 30 different factors, including poverty, education, transportation, housing and jobs.

"Health outcomes get more attention", he said. The Institute works across the full spectrum of factors that contribute to health. 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.

While both STIs and teen births have decreased in Holmes, the county still has a higher per capita infection rate than other counties and a higher rate of teen births. Poor health exists in places segregated from opportunity. Across the state, about 27 percent report high BMI. There are a few areas of concern. The Rankings show that where you live influences how well and how long you live.

The Statewide Health Improvement Partnership works to educate locals and improve the general health of the community. Even highly ranked Brown and Nicollet counties are above the state average in adult obesity.




"We utilize resources together and we are able to stretch those resources", she said.

Pennsylvania's healthiest and least healthy counties are in our area, according to new rankings. "It's a step in the right direction, and we always want to see that". "There's a perception then among the public that we're doing a good job".

When focusing on crime, compared to each other the report takes data from 2012-2014 and shows Ingham County with the highest violent crime rate of 553 people out of 100,000. "Most likely, the change is about what happened in the state overall, rather than what our individual county did".

There was a significant improvement in Broome County's ranking for health behaviors, going from 49 down to 35. Especially when looking at rising low birth weights.

"What we're ultimately talking about is the access to opportunity in these counties, which can be governed by economic opportunity that leads to health outcomes".

Rockland ranked sixth for health factors, the same as past year.

During 2018, Nicollet County Public Health will add another focus on mental wellbeing.

"These numbers are seen as a way to open up questions", he said.


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