Stafford County Ranks 22nd in State Health Rankings

Monday, May 15, 2017

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For 2017, Stafford County ranks 22nd in the state, compared to the approximately 100 other Kansas counties, an increase from last year in the 2016 County Health Rankings (33rd). 

For 2017, Johnson County still ranks as the healthiest county in Kansas and Labette County ranked as the least healthy county, according to the eighth annual County Health Rankings, from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (UWPHI). The Rankings are available at www.countyhealthrankings.org. 

The Rankings are an easy-to-use snapshot comparing the health of nearly every county in the nation. The local-level data allows each state to see how its counties compare on more than 30 factors that influence health including education, housing, jobs, smoking, access to healthy food, and more. 

According to the 2017 Rankings, the five healthiest counties in Kansas, starting with most healthy, are Johnson County, followed by Wabaunsee County, Pottawatomie County, Logan County, and Riley County. The five counties in the poorest health, starting with least healthy, are Labette County, Wyandotte County, Republic County, Osborne County, and Wilson County. 

“The 2017 ranking shows an improvement for another consecutive year.  Live Well Stafford County has been striving to promote more active and healthy lifestyles within our communities through activities such as 5K and 1 mile run and walks, collaborating with our schools’ physical education teachers to have kids’ activities during football and basketball games, and creating preliminary engineering reports for a downtown streetscape in Stafford. But, it takes all of our community members to want to lead healthier lifestyles to keep showing improvements in our county health ranking from year to year,” said Ashlee Bevan, Program Director and Live Well Leadership Team Member at Stafford County Economic Development.

•    Adult smoking within our county has increased from 17% in 2016 to 18% in 2017.
•    Adult obesity has stayed consistent within the last year, seeing no fluctuation.
•    Poor physical health days increased from 3.3 to 3.5 which places us farther from the State average of 3.2 unhealthy days reported in the last 30 days.

“Healthy and active lifestyles are a mindset,” said Bevan.

On a national level, this year’s Rankings took a closer look at the differences in health between urban, rural, suburban, and smaller metro counties and found that:

•    Rural counties not only have higher rates of premature death, but also nearly 1 in 5 rural counties saw rises in premature death rates over the past decade, while most urban counties have experienced consistent improvement. 
•    Rural counties have higher rates of smoking, obesity, child poverty, teen births, and higher numbers of uninsured adults than their urban counterparts. 
Large urban counties have lower smoking and obesity rates, fewer injury deaths, and more residents who attended some college. 
•    Large suburban counties have the lowest rates of childhood poverty and teen births. 

Through this information, community members and organizations can be better informed about health-related outcomes on a local, state and national basis.


About Live Well Stafford County, KS
Funded by a three-year $100,000 grant from the Kansas Health Foundation in Wichita, Kan., Live Well Stafford County is a volunteer leadership team based in Stafford County that is dedicated to improving the health of their communities, by increasing active transportation opportunities and promoting healthy lifestyle activities. 

About Kansas Health Foundation 
The Kansas Health Foundation is based in Wichita, but statewide in its focus. With a mission to improve the health of all Kansans, KHF envisions a culture in which every Kansan can make healthy choices where they live, work and play. To achieve this, the Foundation focuses its grantmaking in two primary program areas: Health Equity, with the goal of reducing health disparities related to social and economic factors; and Civic Health, with a goal to engage Kansans in improving the health of our state. To learn more about KHF, its grantmaking and the ways in which it's working to provide a healthier future for Kansas, please visit www.kansashealth.org; follow on Twitter @KansasHealthOrg; or visit facebook.com/KansasHealthFoundation.

About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation 
For more than 40 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. We are working with others to build a national Culture of Health enabling everyone in America to live longer, healthier lives. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter at www.rwjf.org/twitter or on Facebook at www.rwjf.org/facebook.

About the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute
The University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute advances health and well-being for all by developing and evaluating interventions and promoting evidence-based approaches to policy and practice at the local, state, and national levels.  The Institute works across the full spectrum of factors that contribute to health. A focal point for health and health care dialogue within the University of Wisconsin-Madison and beyond, and a convener of stakeholders, the Institute promotes an exchange of expertise between those in academia and those in the policy and practice arena.  The Institute leads the work on the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps and manages the RWJF Culture of Health Prize. For more information, visit http://uwphi.pophealth.wisc.edu.

Category: Community Development