By Bruce Dierking – KNDY News
The annual Survey of Kansas County Health Rankings were released recently and showed Nemaha County second only to the states most populous Johnson County, in terms of health outcomes, and fourth place overall in health factors. The two are a combination of data reflecting overall contributing factors to a community’s health and wellness.
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Marshall County was listed tenth in terms of health outcomes, with Washington coming in at 21st. With regard to health factors, Marshall County ranked 18th and Washington 17th.
Health outcomes relate to length of life, premature deaths, quality of life, physical and mental health. Rankings include data on housing affordability, safety and security. Considering those factors, the five healthiest counties in Kansas are Johnson, Nemaha, Pottawatomie, Wabaunsee and Riley.
Health factors include a broad determinant of physical activity, smoking and alcohol consumption, as well as factoring uninsured rates, health care providers, hospital stays, and lifestyle factors such as education and poverty rates, crime statistics, and physical environment. In that component Nemaha County also finished high at number 4, with Washington and Marshall counties back to back at 17 and 18th place.
The survey results are available online at countyhealthrankings.org. The database may be helpful for community leaders in developing strategies taking steps to increasing opportunities. Measured effectiveness of the impact of local decisions are shown by a continuum of rankings year to year, and further recognize both challenges, and success in many areas.