You have reached your limit of free articles this month.

Enjoy unlimited access to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Starting at just 99¢ for 8 weeks.

GREAT REASONS TO SUBSCRIBE TODAY!

  • IN-DEPTH REPORTING
  • INTERACTIVE STORYTELLING
  • NEW TOPICS & COVERAGE
  • ePAPER
X

You have read of premium articles.

Get unlimited access to all of our breaking news, in-depth coverage and interactive features. Starting at just 99c for 8 weeks.

X

Welcome to SpringfieldNewsSun.com

Your source for Clark and Champaign counties’ hometown news. All readers have free access to a limited number of stories every month.

If you are a News-Sun subscriber, please take a moment to login for unlimited access.

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

West Liberty staff who stopped alleged school shooter among ‘heroes’
West Liberty staff who stopped alleged school shooter among ‘heroes’

The staff members who stopped the alleged shooter at West Liberty Salem High School last week before he might have harmed more students were identified Tuesday. Middle/High School Principal Greg Johnson and K-12 Assistant Principal Andy McGill were on top of Serna when Champaign County deputies arrived. “Everybody on that day was a hero in some...
West Liberty shooting victim has shotgun pellet in his heart
West Liberty shooting victim has shotgun pellet in his heart

Logan Cole, the victim of shooting at West Liberty-Salem High School last week, has a shotgun pellet lodged in his heart that might require surgery, his father said. RELATED: Classes resume at West Liberty with message from shooting victim “The awesome news is that it is on the right side,” his father Ryan Cole said in a Facebook post Tuesday...
Florida deputy accused of trying to kill elderly woman, sell her dog
Florida deputy accused of trying to kill elderly woman, sell her dog

A Florida deputy is accused of attempting to kill an elderly woman he had been defrauding, according to the Miami Herald. Deputy Frankie Eugene Bybee, 46, had befriended the 79-year-old woman in October after responding to a service call. The Herald reported that things got dicey when Bybee resold the woman's dog, named JJ, on Craigslist after...
Kansas man chooses jail over wife, robbing a bank to get away from her
Kansas man chooses jail over wife, robbing a bank to get away from her

A Kansas man has pleaded guilty to robbing a Kansas City bank last fall, in a strange case that has left authorities scratching their heads. Lawrence John Ripple, 70, told investigators that he robbed the bank, which is just a block away from police headquarters, after an argument with his wife because he “no longer wanted to be in that situation...
‘La La Land’ ties record number of Oscar nods with 14
‘La La Land’ ties record number of Oscar nods with 14

The romantic musical comedy “La La Land” has danced its way into film history, earning 14 Academy Award nominations Tuesday, tying the movies “All About Eve” and “Titanic” for the most nominations ever. The fantasy film was nominated for Best Picture and “La La Land’s” writer and director Damien...
More Stories