Nemaha County Nearly Tops List In Kansas County Health Rankings


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 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.

Derek Nester
Derek Nester
Derek Nester was born and raised in Blue Rapids and graduated from Valley Heights High School in 2000. He attended Cowley College in Arkansas City and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park studying Journalism & Media Communications. In 2002 Derek joined Taylor Communications, Inc. in Salina, Kansas working in digital media for 550 AM KFRM and 100.9 FM KCLY. Following that stop, he joined Dierking Communications, Inc. stations KNDY AM & FM as a board operator and fill-in sports play-by-play announcer. Starting in 2005 Derek joined the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network as a Studio Coordinator at 101 The Fox in Kansas City, a role he would serve for 15 years culminating in the Super Bowl LIV Championship game broadcast. In 2021 he moved to Audacy, formerly known as Entercom Communications, Inc. and 106.5 The Wolf and 610 Sports Radio, the new flagship stations of the Kansas City Chiefs Radio Network, the largest radio network in the NFL. Through all of this, Derek continues to serve as the Digital Media Director for Sunflower State Radio, the digital and social media operations of Dierking Communications, Inc. and the 6 radio stations it owns and operates across Kansas.

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