Ottawa County is healthiest in Michigan, according to new rankings

Ottawa County ranks 1st out of 82 counties in Michigan for healthy people, according to the sixth annual County Health Rankings (CHR), released today by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (UWPHI). A snapshot of Ottawa County’s overall rank is at http://bit.ly/1xihJqj and the CHR summary report is at http://bit.ly/1EXLgpb.

Annual rankings show where counties do well and also where there are opportunities for improvement. Since 2014, Ottawa County improved or maintained in 85% of the 35 indicators that make up the ranking. While Ottawa County is the healthiest county in Michigan, the state ranks 34th in the nation.

“The County Health Rankings is a great opportunity to show how Ottawa County’s community members, hospitals, schools and agencies partner together; all contributing to our #1 rank,” said Lisa Stefanovsky, Health Officer with the Ottawa County Department of Public Health.

Additionally coming this May, the 2014/2015 Ottawa County Community Health Needs Assessment (CHNA) report will be presented at the Ottawa County Fillmore Complex. The CHNA is a study that helps to identify health and health service issues; by gathering feedback from individuals, health care professionals and other community leaders. Results from the CHNA are similar to the CHR report, but more defined for Ottawa County. The public and media are encouraged to attend to discuss the results and start planning on ways to improve residents’ healthy outcomes. (Details to be announced)

Strengths

  • Residents enjoy longer life expectancies and better overall health.
  • Higher child and adult immunization rates.
  • Lower obesity rates.
  • Lower smoking rates in adults.
  • Higher activity levels.
  • More mothers seek prenatal care.

Opportunities for Improvement

  • Access to primary care; medical, dental and mental health.
  • Binge or heavy drinking.
  • Death rates from Alzheimer’s.
  • One in four youth report depression; 34% females and 15% male.
  • One in four teens pregnant (15-19 years of age).
  • Increase in chlamydia cases.

More information is to come at www.miottawa.org/healthdata or call Marcia Mansaray, OCDPH Epidemiologist at (616)494-5598 or mmansaray@miottawa.org to register for the May CHNA report release and forum.

Sources
County Health Rankings www.countyhealthrankings.org  and Ottawa County rank http://bit.ly/1xihJqj
Ottawa County CHNA Summary www.miOttawa.org/CHNA2014
Ottawa County Youth Assessment Survey www.miOttawa.org/2013yas

Submitted by Kristina Wieghmink, OCDPH Communications Specialist

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