/New health rankings show Rankin on top, Holmes on bottom

New health rankings show Rankin on top, Holmes on bottom

The County Health Rankings is a system that uses a variety statistics to measure health outcomes and factors. Rankin was ranked as the most healthy county, beating DeSoto last year, which was DeSoto’s top county. Madison and DeSoto were Nos. The rankings ranked Rankin at 2 and 3. Holmes, Coahoma, and Quitman were the least healthy counties. The University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (now the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation) collaborated to create the data project. It was launched in 2011. The two organizations jointly release annual rankings of each state’s counties. It also has maps that allow users to compare the counties in each measure. Click here to view each county’s health ranking. The Mississippi counties that rank lower have higher rates for sexually transmitted diseases and teen births. They also have a higher ratio of primary care physicians to their population. Holmes has seen a decrease in both STIs as well as teen births, but still has a higher per-capita infection rate than other counties. There is also a higher number of teen births. The assessment can be divided into two areas: health outcomes or health factors. The county’s outcomes are determined by how long and how quality one’s life is. The quality component includes answers to surveys asking about the number of poor mental and physical health days that a person has had recently as well as the frequency and amount of low birth weight. The health factors of a county are based on a variety of inputs. These include traditional indicators such as obesity and smoking, but also social and economic standards such as high school graduation rates and child poverty. Justin Rivas, a Community Coach with the Population Health Institute, said that there is a strong correlation between economic opportunity, health, and across the state. “For instance, Mississippi’s lower performing counties have a high children poverty rate and a low median household income. This correlates with better access to healthcare over the long-term. “Ultimately, we are referring to the availability of opportunity in these counties. This can be managed by economic opportunity that leads towards better health outcomes. Compare the median income of the top (ranked) and bottom (ranked), counties to see how it relates to health. Census data supports this correlation: Holmes’ median income is $20,800 while Holmes’ is $59,370. Holmes’ median income is $20,800. Holmes has the lowest income in the state. Karen Matthews, President and CEO of Delta Health Alliance said that her organization is aware the problems the report highlights in Delta. Matthews stated that access to primary care providers is an issue that impacts many other aspects of health. “Unfortunately, many Delta residents do not have reliable access to primary care providers and are not able address symptoms before they get worsened or receive care for chronic conditions on an ongoing basis.” She said that the Delta Health Alliance is working with federal and state grants to reduce low birth weights and teen pregnancies. She said, “We are currently implementing an initiative with the Mississippi Department of Medicaid in order to prevent preterm deliveries. Many of these preterm births are low birth weight or to teens.” “In the first year, we brought the rate to the same level as the state. Program participants were recruited from patients with preterm birth risk factors. Nearly all of these patients are African American. “The disparity in Mississippi between African American and Caucasian babies is striking and we are working hard to close it.” Rivas also observed a large gap in Mississippi regarding teen births, low birthweight, and even in the healthier counties. For example, in DeSoto 7 percent of white births had low birth weights, while 13 percent for black births. Madison’s white teenage birth rate was 9.4 per 100,000 teenage girls, while it is almost four times higher (34) for black teens. Rivas stated that the intention of the rankings is to highlight which areas can be targeted to improve local health. He said that the rankings are meant to be a catalyst for people to take action. “There are many things you can do in your state, your county, or your local community that can affect these indicators.”