El Dorado County has been ranked as the sixth healthiest county in California, according to a national report just published by the University of Wisconsin’s Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.
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The County Health Rankings Report, a report published annually since 2010, ranks each county within each state on how healthy people are and how long they live. The counties are also ranked on key factors that affect health such as: smoking, obesity, binge drinking, access to primary health care providers, rates of high school graduation, rates of violent crime, air pollution levels, liquor store density, unemployment rates and number of children living in poverty. Researchers used the latest data available for each county, ranging from 2005 to 2011, to develop the Health Rankings.
According to the report, El Dorado County ranked sixth in overall health outcomes among 57 California counties. El Dorado County did especially well in the measures of morbidity (health-related quality of life), and social and economic factors, ranking fourth among California counties. The county also did well in the areas of health behaviors and clinical care, ranking 10th and sixth respectively. The county ranked 24th in the area of physical environment, citing less than desired access to healthy foods and a higher percentage of fast food establishments than some of the other California counties. Since the first report was published, El Dorado County has actually moved up in the Health Rankings. El Dorado County was ranked 10th healthiest in 2010.
According to Program Manager II for the El Dorado County Public Health Division Chris Weston, the report provides helpful information that can be used in community planning and education. “This is great news and something we can be proud of,” Weston said. “We live in a beautiful, rural county that offers its residents good health overall. The report certainly shows us where we have been doing well in our communities and where there are areas for improvement. It can also motivate us to continue to work together to maintain our healthy communities.”
The announcement regarding the health rankings was timely as health departments around the country prepared for National Public Health Week, April 1-7. The Public Health Week campaign encourages individuals to take concrete steps toward improving the health of their communities. Information about the Public Health Week campaign can be found at nphw.org.
The online County Health Rankings Report is available at countyhealthrankings.org.