New County Health Rankings Show Us That Where We Live Matters to Our Health

Greene County Ranks 14th out of 88

Greene County ranked once again as the 14th healthiest county in Ohio, out of 88 counties, according to a new report released by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (UWPHI) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). Overall, Greene County's ranking has been relatively steady in the past few years but that doesn't mean entities and individuals don't have work to do to improve health.

The County Health Ranking show how Greene County ranks on factors that influence its overall health ranking. For example, Greene County has strengths in the area(s) of health behaviors, where it ranked 10 out of 88. According to the ranking, percentages of behaviors in Greene County such as smoking, obesity, physical inactivity and teen births are lower than the state.

This high ranking reflects the priority Greene County has placed on improving the factors that affect residents’ health, and it also shows how important it will be to sustain those programs if we want to stay healthy. Some of these programs include tobacco and obesity prevention, Women, Infants and Children (WIC), Help Me Grow, and Early Intervention. These programs are provided by public health and are crucial to the health of Greene County residents.

According to Health Commissioner, Melissa Howell, “The health district incorporates findings from the county health rankings to set health priorities for each strategic planning period. Our priorities were developed after we reviewed results and information from health assessments, standards, quality indicators, organizational performance, workforce development needs, job satisfaction, community/stakeholder surveys, and current trends in public health. We will be using health promotion and prevention strategies to reduce health inequity, address contributing factors for obesity and other chronic diseases, elevate awareness of maternal, child and infant health needs, enhance the use of data and information systems to research new insights into contributing factors of poor health outcomes, and invest in the development, communication and succession needs of the workforce, thereby reinforcing Greene County as a great place to be born, live, work and age”.

Even though the agency ranked among the best in the state for some factors such as obesity and smoking, these rates are far from the goals that are set for the county. In addition, the rates of sexually transmitted diseases and alcohol impaired driving are two health factors that these rankings show need further attention.

Public health officials look forward to sharing what has worked well in the community with other counties in the state and learning about the work others are doing. None of this work to improve health is accomplished by one organization. Collaborative work on a Community Health Improvement Plan allows alignment across the local public health system to better serve residents.

Visit www.gcph.info to learn more about what Greene County Public Health is doing in the community. Visit countyhealthrankings.org to learn more about the rankings.

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