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2013 National County Health Rankings Released

Wednesday, 03 20, 2013

Beth Fisher or Gwenda Bond, (502) 564-6786, ext. 3101 and 3100

Oldham Deemed Healthiest County in Kentucky

Oldham County has the healthiest residents in the Commonwealth, according to the fourth annual County Health Rankings released today by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. The Rankings are available at www.countyhealthrankings.org.

This annual report takes a look at multiple factors that influence the health of communities and assesses counties’ health outcomes and health factors, such as lifestyle and access to care, that also impact health and wellbeing. This is the second year in a row Oldham County has led the list for health outcomes.

“This report demonstrates public health successes and highlights opportunities for improvement in counties across the state,” said Kentucky Public Health Commissioner Stephanie Mayfield Gibson, M.D.  “It helps us understand the factors leading to health in different parts of the state and how those factors result in various patterns. This information can be used to frame further community discussions as we move forward in building a healthier Kentucky. ”

The rankings take into consideration health outcomes, such as illness and death rates, as well as factors that influence health, like smoking, access to health care, socioeconomic status and physical environment.

According to the 2013 Rankings, the five counties in Kentucky that ranked highest for health outcomes are Oldham, followed by Boone, Shelby, Lyon, and Spencer.  The five counties in Kentucky with the highest health factors are Oldham, Woodford, Boone, Fayette and Scott.

“We all have a stake in creating a healthier community and no single sector alone can tackle the health challenges in any given community,” said Patrick Remington, MD, MPH, professor and associate dean at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. “Collaboration is critical. The Rankings are sparking action all over the country as people from all sectors join forces to create new possibilities in health—county by county.”

The report examined numerous health factors that affect health within four categories: health behavior, clinical care, social and economic factors, and physical environment. Some specific factors of study included: rates of adult smoking, adult obesity, excessive drinking among adults, and teenage births. The report also assessed issues such as the number of uninsured adults, availability of primary care providers, children in poverty and preventable hospital stays.

More information can be found at www.countyhealthrankings.org.

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The Cabinet for Health and Family Services is home to most of the state's human services and health care programs, including Medicaid, the Department for Community Based Services and the Department for Public Health. CHFS is one of the largest agencies in state government, with nearly 8,000 full and part-time employees throughout the Commonwealth focused on improving the lives and health of Kentuckians.