Florida Department of Health in Leon County addresses health rankings

15 March, 2018, 05:53 | Author: Earnest Huff
  • Dr. Norman Sitz checks a patient’s medical record while working in his office Tuesday in Pendleton

Did you realize your zip code can be a good indicator of your health?

Social and economic factors, such as connected and supportive communities, good schools, stable jobs and safe neighborhoods, are "foundational to achieving long and healthy lives", the news release said.

St. Johns County residents are the healthiest in Florida, according to annual rankings released Wednesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Nationwide, early signs of babies born at low birth weight may be on the rise after almost a decade of improvement (8.2% in 2016, a 2% increase from 2014), the organization stated.

This year, it was knocked out of the top five by Napa and Orange counties.

Vigo County ranked 81st out of 92 counties for health outcomes.

"When we get people - all people - involved, not just policymakers but community members, and we start having conversations and we start taking action on a multitude of different factors, that's when we'll see progress", Trujillo says.

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Cambria County ranked 64th overall among Pennsylvania's 67 counties, trailed only by Fulton, Fayette and Philadelphia counties. Even highly ranked Brown and Nicollet counties are above the state average in adult obesity.

In addition, the report ranks Leon County as 5 in terms of income inequality, which it claims is associated with increased risk of sickness and death.

Novant Health Inc. believes it is making a difference locally with "easy access to free, preventive-care screenings, and continuing to work with community agencies to facilitate a variety of community health-care programs", said Dr. Lawrence Nycum, the senior vice president of medical affairs for its Winston-Salem market. There is then a big drop off in health outcomes with Hancock County ranked #71 and Cerro Gordo the 72nd healthiest county in Iowa.

Oakman also says that the childhood poverty rate is a major factor in Washington County's ranking; there, the rate is 28 percent.

The county rankings are far from the only data public health officials like Moritz use to inform their priorities. Circle size indicates relative county population.

"Together, with the community, we will continue to promote a healthy lifestyle", Nycum said.

Jerome said that in addition to the data, the study provides resources for communities to improve their approaches to public health.

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