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Archive for Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Douglas County among top five healthiest in Kansas

Mark Fenton, a walking advocate and host of the PBS show “America’s Walking,” asks students from New York School to raise their hands if they ride their bicycle to school. On Oct. 6, 2009, Fenton and Lawrence leaders walked around the New York School neighborhood to see how safe the sidewalks and streets were for bicyclists and pedestrians. They got an earful from the students and quickly learned there were areas that needed improvement.

Mark Fenton, a walking advocate and host of the PBS show “America’s Walking,” asks students from New York School to raise their hands if they ride their bicycle to school. On Oct. 6, 2009, Fenton and Lawrence leaders walked around the New York School neighborhood to see how safe the sidewalks and streets were for bicyclists and pedestrians. They got an earful from the students and quickly learned there were areas that needed improvement.

February 17, 2010, 12:08 p.m. Updated February 17, 2010, 4:57 p.m.

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Douglas County one of healthiest in Kansas

Douglas County ranked near the top of the list for the healthiest county in the state. The rankings were based on a number of health-related statistics. Enlarge video

Douglas County is the fourth healthiest county in Kansas, according to a new report released today.

Here's the top five:

  1. Mitchell.
  2. Riley.
  3. Johnson.
  4. Douglas.
  5. Nemaha.

The five least healthy counties are Cherokee, Wyandotte, Harper, Bourbon and Montgomery.

The report “County Health Rankings: Mobilizing Action Toward Community Health" was done by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

Related document

County Health Rankings ( .PDF )

It is the first report to rank the overall health of the counties in all 50 states by using a standard formula to measure how healthy people are and how long they live.

Here’s how Douglas County fared:

No. 3 for mortality. It looks at years of potential life lost.

No. 36 for morbidity. It is based on quality of life and birth outcomes.

No. 4 for health behaviors. This includes obesity, smoking and chlamydia rates.

No. 20 for clinical care. This includes uninsured adults, preventable hospital stays and diabetic screenings, among other things.

No. 14 for social and economic factors. This includes high school graduation rates, number of single-parent households and violent crime.

No. 4 for physical environment. This includes air quality and access to healthy foods.

• No. 2 for health factors. This involves health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors, and physical environment.

Despite the high marks, Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department leaders say there’s room for improvement.

Charlotte Marthaler

Charlotte Marthaler

“We must be doing something right, so we want to keep doing that. But we want to also figure out what we can do better,” said Charlotte Marthaler, director of policy and planning. She said, for example, the morbidity and clinical care rankings raised concerns.

But, more importantly, Marthaler and a Kansas health leader said the report emphasizes that where we live matters to our health.

“Health has a lot more to do than just health care and what happens in a physician’s office or a medical provider’s office," Marthaler said. "It is much more involved than that.”

Dr. Gianfranco Pezzino, senior fellow at the Kansas Health Institute, added, “Health is more than just the presence of disease or death. It is determined in large part by a series of partners who are linked to our personal behavioral choices and to how our environment influences those choices and our health more directly.”

He thinks there should be a health impact statement for every local and state policy that is discussed — not just the usual financial impact statement.

“I can guarantee you that all of the things that are discussed and debated and the decisions that are made affect our health,” Pezzino said."

The full report can be found online at countyhealthrankings.org.

Comments

Boston_Corbett 4 years, 10 months ago

Lets all go to Burger King and celebrate.

bearded_gnome 4 years, 10 months ago

glad they track "health behaviors." these are quite important.


Gosh, we rank #4 for Lachlamydia?

---Prune, you'd think that was because of the college populations here...but think again! clearly this is because of our high retiree population! Retirees with their loose morals, sexually suggestive music, and revealing clothing. with Lawrence attracting more retirees, expect this number and its carnage to worsen.
oh the humanity!

Mel Briscoe 4 years, 10 months ago

healthwise i would think that kansas is just kansas. one county probably isn't a whole lot more healthier than the others.

parrothead8 4 years, 10 months ago

honeychild (Mel Briscoe) says... healthwise i would think that kansas is just kansas. one county probably isn't a whole lot more healthier than the others.

While I question how one can actually "rank" a county's health, it seems like your statement is kind of like saying, "Because 100 people are standing in close proximity to each other, they're probably all the same." That discounts any sort of individual choice or free will, and doesn't seem right. I think it IS viable to say that a county with a large university presence may have a large segment of its population making different lifestyle choices than another county, and that those choices may show up when it comes to illness rates and healthcare spending.

lindseydoyle 4 years, 10 months ago

We must be doing something right, so we want to keep doing that.,” said Charlotte Marthaler, director of policy and planning.

Don't you think it might have something to do with demographics? DGCO has a high percentage of upper middle class young people due to KU. But go ahead and take as much credit as you can get away with.

Bladerunner 4 years, 10 months ago

photo caption should read, "Raise your hand if your healthy."

ralphralph 4 years, 10 months ago

"access to healthy foods" ... means you have to walk through the veggie aisle to get to the bacon.

Mel Briscoe 4 years, 10 months ago

parrothead, you put waaay too much thought into what i posted. LOL you came up w/ something much more complex than what i posted.

justoneperson 4 years, 10 months ago

yeah, college students do have std problems....but, you'd be suprised at the extent of the problem in long-term care facilities...

Boston_Corbett 4 years, 10 months ago

I dunno, but pictures of guys yelling with arms out-stretched to a group of doe-eyed youth in front of a church-like building make me get feeling a bit Moonie all over.

snip, snip.

jehovah_bob 4 years, 10 months ago

Caption should read:

"Who wants to grow up and have a bad ass 'stache like mine?"

devobrun 4 years, 10 months ago

honeychild, actually parrot was a bit too thinking. However, the study itself begs the question of its meaning. Did somebody pay for this?

Why?

What are you going to do with it?

I want my money back.

Richard Heckler 4 years, 10 months ago

Of course the more new traffic the less clean air.... which way shall it be?

devobrun 4 years, 10 months ago

The subcategories are things like morbidity, mortality, health factors, socio-economic factors...All accompanied by the statement: "This involves...".

What kind of fuzzy-headed thinking is going on here? Is this a joke? What is the point?

Anybody have an answer to this last question?

Here's my guesses: Federal and/or state dollars can come into counties that are below average. Making others feel guilty is fun. Making yourself feel guilty is motivating. My dad is better than your dad. Let's stick it to powerful people/companies for our lack of health. Let's blame ethnic groups for being inferior without saying so because that would be racist. Repeat above statement for gender, education, old people, farmers, or whoever is different than us. Don't have fun because all fun behaviors are dangerous.


But here's my best guess: Dr. Pez and Ms Marthaler would like for all bills in the Kansas legislature to include a study on the health impacts of the bill. This will increase employment for new lawyers and nurses. Spreadsheet science will be applied and boilerplate will be written and numbers will be calculated for each bill. Committees can be formed, junkets to Vegas for the annual meeting of the state committees on the health of each state will include: Paper writing (for resume improvement) Accreditation procedures Epidemiological studies (further resume enhancement) A seal and motto Yet another social group that will exist for its own sake. No health will be improved, but it will appear so in a convoluted, sophisticated way.
And people wonder why our economy sucks.


Maybe its because nobody really does anything anymore. Let's form a group to study why people don't really do things anymore.

Mel Briscoe 4 years, 10 months ago

LMAO @ jehovah_bob

devo, do you think the state o' kansas paid for this mess? i was wondering if it was just conducted by someone like donnuts, making alot of prank "survey" calls to random kansans. if that's the case then i'm cool. if our tax cheddar went into finding out this B.S. then boo on topeeky!

parrothead8 4 years, 10 months ago

devobrun (anonymous) says... I want my money back.

The article clearly stated that "The report “County Health Rankings: Mobilizing Action Toward Community Health" was done by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation," so unless you're a regular donor to the University of Wisconsin, don't worry about it. It wasn't your money that paid for it.

Robert Rauktis 4 years, 10 months ago

Healthiest in anywhere in America is like being the best mountain climber in Kansas: the best argument against collective insurance. Mildly obese is "normal".

Robert Rauktis 4 years, 10 months ago

Healthiest in anywhere in America is like being the best mountain climber in Kansas: the best argument against collective insurance. Mildly obese is "normal".

Melissa Sigler 4 years, 10 months ago

I believe it...where else in Kansas (or the USA, really) can you go work out for free with hundreds of other people who want to be healthy?

scott3460 4 years, 10 months ago

Makes sense. Liberals are smarter than conservatives and therefore make better choices, including in the realm of one's health.

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