ZMCHD releases county health rankings

Annual health rankings report places Petersburg last in state

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The County has a 94% graduation rate, our unemployment rate is 3.5%, and we reported 158 violent crimes. We are working with others to build a national Culture of Health enabling everyone in America to live longer, healthier lives.

According to the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Mecklenburg County is the fifth-healthiest county in the state, with Union County falling in line just ahead at No. 4. Looking at differences by place and race offers a more complete picture of health. The goal of the project is to give communities a window into their health and provide opportunities for improvement. You can search for your county by clicking on the link at the side of this story, then typing in your zip code. "There are things you can do within your state or your county or your community more locally that can change these indicators". It's unclear from the data why the county declined in rank, because numerous health outcome measures changed little. "That can affect your life expectancy by as much as 20 years unless we build a community that recognizes trauma and is resilient", Woo said. Consider that Watauga County ranks No. 8 in health outcomes, but has a median income of less than $40,000, a figure more closely associated with counties that ranked in the bottom half of the RWJF list.

Each county's ranking can be viewed at https://tinyurl.com/ya57cn9l. Only 9 percent of St. Johns County children live in poverty, according to the data.

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Lake County ranked dead last in the survey of 57 counties, down one spot from past year. Circle size indicates relative county population. Lawrence County Ranks 70th in the state in overall health. A group of community leaders and health care representatives this week called for an increased response to address the problem, prompted by the recent discovery of an HIV and syphilis cluster in Milwaukee that has affected at least 125 people.

"When you're talking about the health rankings, it's important to know that the social determinants of health, including employment and housing, also have an impact", said Dr. Alton Hart, director of the Crater Health District, which includes Petersburg. Eyewitness News Healthbeat Reporter Mark Hiller reviewed the study ranking our local counties and looked at what's being done to improve the scores.

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