National 2013 County Health Rankings: Region middle of the pack statewide
The fourth annual County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, released today by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, indicates that Fairfax County has the healthiest residents in Virginia while the city of Petersburg ranks as the least healthy locality in the state.
According to the 2013 Rankings, Augusta County ranked 19th statewide, while the City of Staunton was 54th, and Waynesboro was 68th.
The five healthiest localities in Virginia, starting with most healthy, are Fairfax County, followed by Loudoun, Arlington, Albemarle and York counties. The five localities in the poorest health, starting with least healthy, are the city of Petersburg, Tazewell County, Buchanan County, Dickenson County and Henry County.
The County Health Rankings ranks the overall health of nearly every locality in all 50 states, using a standard method to measure how healthy people are and how long they live. Localities’ health were ranked on two sets of measures: health outcomes (length and quality of life); and weighted health factors [health behaviors (30%), access to and quality of clinical care (20%), social and economic factors (40%), and the physical environment (10%).]
“Public health and the health care community play an important role in leading the way to sustaining healthy communities,” said State Health Commissioner Cynthia C. Romero, MD, FAAFP. “But so much of what influences good health happens outside of the physician’s office. What we eat, the safety of our communities, how much family and social support we have and our level of education and understanding all influence our health and wellbeing.”
New this year, the 2013 Rankings includes data on access to dental care and drinking water safety in its evaluation of clinical care and physical environment.
“It takes the combined efforts of businesses, health care providers, government, consumers, local health departments and community leaders to create a healthier Commonwealth,” said Dr. Romero. “Using the Rankings & Roadmaps, together we can find ways and create opportunities to help Virginians live longer, healthier lives.”
To learn more about the Rankings, visit www.countyhealthrankings.org.