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How Healthy Is Your County?

Do you want current information on the health of your county – well depending on what you find in the website discussed below – maybe not. This blog post is about a very interesting website chock-full of details about the health of nearly every county in the nation. This is information you should know but more importantly your political and community health leaders should know. For North Carolinians the report should be an eye opener – especially statistics on premature death and preventable hospital stays.

Much of the data is 2012 current and appears to be reliably compiled by the University of Wisconsin and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. Interactive maps and charts allow easy comparisons of health statistics throughout the United States and especially important for us, our state shown county by county. A click on our state and brings up interactive maps and graphs that summarizes significant health statistics and important factors affecting those outcomes. What may be most disconcerting is the large variance across our state in the number of preventable hospital admissions – preventable hospital admissions would seem to be a good barometer of our overall health. The range goes from 37 days in Transylvania County to a 137 days in Avery County, just a few miles away.

It is unimaginable how such disparity would be so geographically close and causes you to wonder what communication and/or environmental factors can lead to such a disparity. The site offers vignettes from communities that have successfully improved the health of its citizens and offers ideas and contacts that certainly can be useful in any efforts to improve health and the quality of the lives of all of our citizens. North Carolina deserves no less than the best health environment for all of us.

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