If you have not reviewed the recently released County Health Rankings report, you might be surprised at how your county fares in health outcomes and measurements.
| Top 10 healthiest Indiana counties
The annual report, released by the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, provides data that can help you improve the health of citizens in your community.
Counties are graded on how healthy people are and how long they live. The report ranked counties in two different categories:
- Health outcomes, including mortality and morbidity
- Health factors that encompass health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors and physical environment
Specifically, the measurements considered the rate of people dying before age 75, high school graduation rates, access to healthier foods, air pollution levels, income levels and rates of smoking, alcohol use, obesity and teen births.
Some see improvements
Lake County improved its rank from 84 last year to 81 this year. County Health Officer Susan Best, D.O., explained the economy is the greatest influence.
“People need jobs and when they are working, people are more active. It helps them physically and mentally,” she explained.
Mostly rural Boone County ranked third this year. Herschell Servies Jr., M.D., the county health officer, attributes his county’s success to employers that have begun wellness programs.
“Our proximity to the greater Indianapolis area gives us access to an increasing number of health care services and talented health care professionals,” said Dr. Servies. “Also, our Boone County Healthy Coalition has done an outstanding job addressing our health shortcomings.”
Spencer County’s placement soared from 31 last year to 16 this year.
“The one measurement that improved the most for us was premature death rate,” said County Health Officer Stan Tretter, M.D.” I would like to think that the local emphasis on disease prevention and wellness plays a role in this.”
Find out how your county measures up. Read the report here.