Leon County responds to health rankings

See where local counties rank in new well-being report

Zip codes can be a good indicator of your health, a new report compares the well-being of almost every county in the United States. Fawctors in which the county scored poorly in were health behaviors such as obesity and smoking. "We're a "Leader in the State" and Best in the East' county, so we need to be much better than we are".

According to University of Wisconsin researchers, people living in the bottom-performing counties face higher rates of unemployment, lower rates of high school graduation and lower median household incomes than people in the top-performing counties.

Pitt County made several improvements to its rankings this year among North Carolina counties for certain population health conditions, but also revealed specific areas of deep concern to the county's public health director.

"Opportunities with regard to health are not equal across groups", said Trujillo.

Lamar County has been named No. 4 in the healthiest counties in MS, according to the ninth annual County Health Rankings released Wednesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

Again this year, Saratoga County ranks among the state's five healthiest counties, according to the 2018 County Health Rankings & Roadmaps.

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Walker County's years of potential life lost rate was 14,900 in the 2018 report.

According to the 2018 Rankings, the five healthiest counties in MS, starting with most healthy, are Rankin County, followed by DeSoto County, Madison County, Lamar County and Lafayette County. It measures factors that impact public health, such as access to health care, housing and employment.

Montgomery County Health Department Administrator Amber Reed said she was drinking her first cup of coffee at home when she checked on the new rankings. The Institute leads the work on the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps and the RWJF Culture of Health Prize.

Challenges in this region include obesity, illegal drug use, alcohol and tobacco use. "That is way above the rest of the state", said Spegman.

Still, Spegman said the rankings are not about competing for the No.1 slot in the state. "We are confident the commitment our community has shown to health and well-being for all residents will continue", he stated.

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