County Health Rankings report released Wednesday morning

Dr. Norman Sitz checks a printout before visiting a patient on Tuesday at his medical office in Pendleton

The 2018 County Health Rankings, released Wednesday, again showed affluent suburban counties as Georgia's healthiest. "Do you live in affordable housing in a safe neighborhood?"

"We can't be a healthy, thriving nation if we continue to leave entire communities and populations behind", says Dr. Richard Besser, president and CEO of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

In Leon County, the Community Health Improvement Plan (CHIP) is created to address specific opportunities for improved health that have been identified by the community. Those factors range from access to and quality of health care to socioeconomic factors, such as education, average income and employment figures.

"Improving health is not just what our hospitals or the health department does, it is what we all do individually and collectively as a community to improve health", he said.

Those gathering the data behind the rankings say the reports can be used to target areas of improvement in communities lagging behind the rest of the state. 13 of Florida's 67 counties in health outcomes, with Flagler one spot behind. The obesity rate is 32 percent, and 28 percent of the population is physically inactive. UW Population Health Institute.

Each county's ranking can be viewed at https://tinyurl.com/ya57cn9l.

Pezzino, of the Kansas Health Institute, points out the data don't account for recent initiatives in Wyandotte County, such as the construction of new walking paths and the effort to attract grocery stores that sell fresh fruit and produce. Racine was No. 61 and 62 for health outcomes and factors, respectively, while Kenosha came in at No. 59 and 66.

The least-healthy county for health outcomes is Union, and Putnam rated second from last in the state. "I'm proud that we're the first city in Texas to pass Tobacco 21", said Junda Woo, medical director of Metro Health Medical. "We can not fully address any one issue without addressing the full range of challenges that keep people from leading healthy lives", Iser added.

The counties partner with Watonwan County as part of the Statewide Health Improvement Partnership, established across the state to create healthier communities.

Sussex ranks as the healthiest county in Delaware. A new report compares the well-being of almost every county in the United States.

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