How healthy is your county?

Illustration from the cover of the 2018 County Health Rankings report of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Illustration from the cover of the 2018 County Health Rankings report of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Blue Earth County was all over the place in the study's health factor measures.

"That's not to say that they don't exist, but we're a relatively small county, we have relatively small populations of racial and ethnic minorities, so we've got pretty limited data on local disparities", he said.

"As usual, it demonstrates we have some serious work to do - we should be in the top ten with the talent and resources we have in Allen County", McMahan said in an email response.

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.

Axler says the rankings are used to help identify gaps in service and address barriers to health care.

Allen County ranks 47th in health outcomes, which measures how long people live and how healthy people feel while alive. That's a drop of three positions since 2017 and eight since 2016.

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In New Jersey, the least-healthy counties are in South Jersey.

"I think that overall, Douglas County is still in good shape", said Dr. Gianfranco Pezzino, senior fellow and strategy team leader with KHI.

Health outcomes include premature deaths, which in Allen rose from an estimated 7,200 per 100,000 residents past year to 7,500 per 100,000. The state had a similar increase.

Last year's report pointed to drug overdose deaths as fueling the increase nationally.

"We are pleased that Livingston County is again one of the top ten healthiest counties with several areas of strength, which includes low rates of children in poverty and uninsured individuals, as these are important indicators of health equity".

Health factors section of the rankings looks at socio-economic, behavioral and other health concerns.

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That compares to 10th and ninth last year, respectively, and eighth or ninth on both measures for the previous seven years. The rest declined or were unchanged from previous year.

"We are actually communicating with each other, and we meet on a quarterly basis", she said.

The report shows that the rate of sexually transmitted infections (using chlamydia infections as a marker) is on the rise in Sonoma County, going from 332.3 chlamydia cases per 100,000 in 2014 to 376 cases in 2015, the most recent year for which such data is available. In Madison, the white teen birth rate was 9 per 100,000 teenage females, while the number is almost four times as high (34) for black female teens.

Identical to previous year, the report marks as strengths Allen County's low adult physical inactivity (24 percent); access to exercise opportunities (85 percent); preventable hospital stays (52 per 1,000 Medicare enrollees); and adults with some college education (66 percent). "Ironically we would rather focus on the health factor number".

The report ranks Onondaga County 31st among New York's counties in terms of overall health.

The five healthiest IN counties IN order are Hamilton, Hendricks, Warren, Boone and Brown. Rockland County was ranked No. 1, the healthiest county in the state, while the Bronx was ranked 62, the unhealthiest county in the state.

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