List of healthiest NC counties released

Dr. Norman Sitz checks a printout before visiting a patient on Tuesday at his medical office in Pendleton

The crescent stretching across Brown, Nicollet, Le Sueur and Waseca counties, meanwhile, shared similar measures in health outcomes - all among the top 22 ranked counties. In the Northern Tier, Tioga County came in at 16, while Bradford County was ranked at 37. Raquel Bournhonesque, a County Health Rankings public health representative, said counties often move up or down the list relative to how other counties perform.

The organization is looking closer at social and economic factors as indicators of health than in the last nine years, Jerome said.

"We see data that represent things that are happening throughout the country", Trujillo says.

"We saw persistent patterns where black babies were twice as likely as white babies to be born at a low birth weight, and also twice as likely to die before their first birthday", said Williams. "Kansas and Wyandotte County are no different there".

Woo was also happy to see Bexar County has nearly twice the number of mental health providers per person when compared with the state average. Health factors include health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors and physical environment.

Benton County dropped two spots to 58th from 56 previous year.

This is the ninth year the rankings have been published. Blue Earth County ranked 54th in the measure. The Institute works across the full spectrum of factors that contribute to health. Unfortunately, the obesity rate has stayed the same at 34 percent. Today, 1 in 5 children grow up in poverty.

Children in Poverty: Poverty limits opportunities and increases the chance of poor health. "We are taking action".

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Last year, Petersburg was ranked second worst in the state. If there's an area for improvement, it's in clinical care.

The Zanesville-Muskingum County Public Health Department said the county ranked 67 out of 88 counties in Ohio.

Other southeastern Wisconsin counties lagged in the rankings.

It's time for a check up on the health of West Michigan.

"This is a big ship to turn and so what it will require is patience, and it will require having a long-term goal", Trujillo says.

"Any area where we see opportunities we've identified that does exist and have been working to meet the needs", Slater said.

Teen Births: There are strong ties between poverty and births among teens.

"We can't be a healthy, thriving nation if we continue to leave entire communities and populations behind", said Dr. Richard Besser, president and CEO of the foundation.

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