breaking news

Springfield woman accused of not treating 3-month-old with broken leg

Clark County health rankings improve, but still low

Clark County is getting healthier, but it still ranks near the bottom of Ohio counties on a national health survey.

The county ranked 70th among Ohio’s 88 counties in the fifth annual County Health Rankings report released this week by the Robert Wood John Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

Last year, Clark County ranked 72nd and has been as low as 74th, according to the foundation’s website.

The county ranks worse than both the national and state averages in premature death, adult obesity, physical inactivity and number of people without health insurance, according to the report.

Clark County Health Commissioner Charles Patterson said the numbers aren’t where the district wants them to be, but it’s moving in a positive direction.

“We’re always happy when the community is showing up better than we were before,” Patterson said.

The ranking is based on health outcomes, which measures both length and quality of life. The county also ranked 65th in health factors, which includes behavior, clinical care, physical environment and social and economic factors. Last year, the county ranked 70th.

The small increase in the county’s ranking is positive for the future, Patterson said. He cited personal choices about health and wellness and increased support from agencies working together to improve recreational and fitness opportunities throughout the county.

“We want to build on this and get better and better every year,” he said. “It’s going to be difficult for us to be No. 1, but it’s not difficult to move to the upper 50 percent in Ohio. I think that’s a realistic goal for Clark County.”

Last year, the health district released its Community Health Assessment and Improvement Plan. The district performed a phone survey in 2012 with more than 1,053 telephone surveys of Clark County adults, 76.8 percent of which said their health is excellent, very good or good. However, 23.2 percent said their health is fair or poor, which is higher than both the state (16.1 percent) and the national (14.7 percent) averages.

The survey also found 76.9 percent of residents are classified as overweight or obese based upon their body mass index.

After the assessment was completed, a broad-based community group identified five priority areas, including:

• Healthy births and sexuality.

• Obesity.

• Chronic disease management.

• Mental health.

• Substance abuse.

A focus on mental health is key because it will help improve the other four priority areas, Patterson said.

“If we have the right coping skills, it helps us to make better decisions along the way,” he said.

The improved ranking is a good sign for the future, said Bob Ketterman of Springfield as he was leaving Springfield Regional Medical Center this week. He believes health care is improving in the community and was satisfied with a recent stay at Springfield Regional Medical Center.

The hospital is partnering with other agencies, including the health district and the Rocking Horse Community Health Center, to increase access to care for chronic disease management and improve the health condition of the community, said Dave Lamb, a spokesman for Community Mercy Health Partners.

The increased access will cut down on emergency room visits and hospital stays, Lamb said.

“We’re not going to be satisfied with our rankings until we see a significant amount of improvement where the county is currently,” Lamb said. “We’ve got the right partners in place and we are optimistic.”

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Community News

Senate reaches deal to end shutdown; Trump to speak soon
Senate reaches deal to end shutdown; Trump to speak soon

Senate Democrats agreed to support a bill today to re-open the federal government until early next month in return for Republican promises to permit a floor debate on a bill to provide protection for the children of undocumented immigrants, a program known as the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals, or DACA. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N...
Florida man wrestles, wrangles gator outside his home
Florida man wrestles, wrangles gator outside his home

What does a southwest Florida man do when a gator gets too close to his home? He wrangles it. Michael Stauffer, of Bokeelia, told Fox 4 that when an alligator got too comfy crawling around his backyard, he grabbed a broom and towel, jumped on its back and wrangled it. He wrapped the towel around its snout and duct-taped it shut.  He then...
Funeral home director charged with stealing $284,000 from seniors who pre-paid for funerals
Funeral home director charged with stealing $284,000 from seniors who pre-paid for funerals

Fayette County funeral home director is facing charges for allegedly stealing $284,000 from clients -- mostly seniors -- who pre-paid for their own funerals.  >> Read more trending news  Stephen Kezmarsky, III, 50 was arrested and charged with taking the money from 51 clients for funeral expenses at the Kezmarsky Funeral Home, officials...
The Great Blizzard of 1978: Why we can’t forget it
The Great Blizzard of 1978: Why we can’t forget it

When I was just 4 years old, I can remember seeing something I had never seen before. While I was very young, I can remember this event very clearly, as most of my family and neighbors back then do. »PHOTOS: Blizzard of 1978 In fact, it was the first time in recorded history that snow fell in the town I was born, Fort Lauderdale, Fla. Yes, it...
Olivia Munn shut down Chris Pratt dating rumors by texting Anna Faris
Olivia Munn shut down Chris Pratt dating rumors by texting Anna Faris

Actors Olivia Munn and Chris Pratt sparked dating rumors when the pair were spotted having dinner over the weekend, but Munn says they are not together. Just Jared reported that the 37-year-old “Magic Mike” actress took to social media to shut down rumors, and she had receipts from a surprising source. >> Read more trending news ...
More Stories