Brevard 21st In State Health Rankings
By Dr. James Palermo // April 17, 2012
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA — In the first week of April, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin’s (UW) Population Health Institute released the third annual county-by-county analysis of public health, identifying the healthiest and least healthy counties in each state.
Data was gathered and analyzed for the 2012 County Health Rankings and Roadmaps by researchers from several federal agencies for more than 3,000 counties nationwide and the District of Columbia.
Specific areas and aspects of a county’s health status that were evaluated included:
- Health outcomes (such as premature mortality and morbidity);
- Health behaviors (such as tobacco use, obesity rates, and alcohol consumption);
- Clinical care (such as access to primary care physicians, insurance rates, and preventable hospitalizations);
- Physical environment (such as air pollution and access to healthy foods);
- Social and economic factors (such as unemployment, graduation rates, and crime rates).
An interactive online map was developed to help individuals determine the health of their respective county compared to the other counties in the state. For Florida the map shows that the healthiest county is St. Johns County (SJC) between Duval and Flagler Counties along the Atlantic Coast, with Brevard County (BC) moving up from a ranking of 22nd in 2011 to 21st this year. Some of the significant differences between St. Johns and Brevard that affected the rankings were seen in adult smoking (15% SJC v. 22% BC), adult obesity (22% SJC v. 28% BC) physical inactivity (18% SJC v. 25% BC), uninsured (17% SJC v. 20% BC) and the resident to primary care physician ratio (793:1 SJC v. 986:1 BC). The least healthy Florida county is Union County where 36% of adults are obese, 29% smoke, 31% are deemed physically inactive and there is one primary care physician for every 1,867 residents.
“The County Health Rankings show us that much of what influences our health happens outside of the doctor’s office. In fact, where we live, learn, work and play has a big role in determining how healthy we are and how long we live,” said Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, M.D., M.B.A., president and CEO of RWJF. “The good news is that businesses, health care providers, government, consumers and community leaders are already joining forces in communities across the nation to change some of the gaps that the Rankings highlight.”