The Delaware General Health District announced that Delaware County is the healthiest county in Ohio for the third year in a row.
The 2017 County Health Rankings issued Wednesday places Delaware County as first in Ohio for both health outcomes and health factors. Health outcomes focus on how healthy people are presently and health factors are based on how healthy people will be in the future, a news release states.
The rankings, presented by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, are available online at countyhealthrankings.org.
According to the rankings, Delaware County residents engage in the healthiest behavior among Ohio’s 88 counties — a ranking covering nine categories, including adult smoking, adult obesity, food environment, physical inactivity, access to exercises opportunities, excessive drinking, alcohol-impaired driving deaths, sexually transmitted infections and teen births.
“We are so excited to hear that our county has again secured the number one position as healthiest county in Ohio and are thrilled for our residents,” Health Commissioner Shelia Hiddleson said.
Hiddleson added that the Health District along with a long list of community partners that make up The Partnership for a Healthy Delaware County continue to make strides in improving health issues facing our county as outlined in the 2014-2018 Community Health Improvement Plan.
Those issues include access to healthcare, alcohol and substance abuse, environmental health, family support, food insecurity, mental health and obesity/overweight.
“In year two of the Community Health Improvement Plan, we have seen improvement in people getting transportation to healthcare, access to Naloxone — an opioid overdose reversal medication, more mental health education and awareness, an increase in access to fresh fruits and vegetables and obesity prevention messages in our schools,” Hiddleson said.
“We want residents to know that we are still fully committed to our county’s pockets of need and remain focused on our residents’ health.”
Hiddleson said that while the Health District is seen as the leader in county health issues, these rankings are not a grading system for health departments, but rather a snapshot of the population’s overall health.