Manitowoc County 50th in state health ratings

Manitowoc County 50th in state health ratings

The five healthiest counties, starting with the most healthy, are Jefferson, Putnam, Monongalia, Upshur and Marshall.

Duval County ranks as the 55th healthiest county in Florida according to the eighth County Health Rankings released Wednesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, Duval's poorest showing ever.

Cheryl Lee, administrator at Clinton County Health Department, attributed the county's overall health ranking in part to the formation of the Clinton Health Improvement Coalition in partnership with St. Joseph's Hospital in Breese.

Duval County's obesity rate of 31 percent was 5 percent over the state average, as was its rate of alcohol-impaired driving deaths. Douglas County also continues to report a teen birth rate well below the state average. Quitman County, meanwhile, has a very high rate of premature deaths, 21 percent uninsured and nearly half of its children living in poverty.

"What we're seeing is that there's an increase in deaths among 15-44 year olds and this is largely driven by drug overdoses", O'Neill said. Twenty-one percent of Douglas County residents reported "severe housing problems", well above the statewide figure of 14 percent.

"(Social determinants of health) impact where we learn, play, work, worship - everything about where we live can impact our health", Cox said.

The rankings aren't a surprise to county health departments, which collect some of the data that's used.

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The 2017 Robert Wood Johnson Foundation county health rankings added a new measure called disconnected youth, which looks at how many people age 16 to 24 are not in school or working.

Education is another important factor affecting the health rankings, Scott said.

The locally produced Community Health Needs Assessment, which utilized both publicly available statistics and community input to reach its conclusions, echoed some of the same concerns as the health rankings.

Franklin County previously ranked seventh in the state but has risen to sixth. Neighboring Union County also ranked high, finishing fourth in the rankings. "When you look at the things that drive the health of our population or any population, roughly 20 percent of it is specific to clinical care, to healthcare; the other 80 percent has to do with economic, social, environmental and behavioral issues".

The rankings provide a framework for Healthy Harrison to develop programs that will lead to a healthier culture in the county, Nardelli said. The rate in Wayne County was 15 percent and the rate in Orleans County was 24 percent.

Researchers compiled the rankings for use by public health officials and others looking for ways to improve conditions in their communities.

She said she worries about the county's sexually transmitted infection rate, which at 269.3 is lower than the 403.2 rate of the state. It's drug overdose death rate is six per 100,000 people; the highest rate in the state is 18 per 100,000 in Scott County.

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