Petersburg, Emporia among least healthy localities in Virginia

Petersburg, Emporia among least healthy localities in Virginia

The ninth annual study is done by the Population Health Institute of the University of Wisconsin with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The order changes when it comes to health factors: Collin, No. 1, Rockwall, No. 2 and Denton, No. 6.

"It is very concerning that our community hasn't progressed more", Mayor Allen Joines said.

The county's low health ranking was cited as a target for improvement when the 1889 Jefferson Center for Population Health opened in Johnstown previous year. "It will take a generation in some cases to see improvements".

"Through consistent coordination and strategic collaboration with local government and for-profit and nonprofit entities, we will work to effectively improve the health of Leon County residents", Rebecca Weaver, director of impact strategies at the United Way of the Big Bend, said.

Health outcomes include premature deaths, which in Allen rose from an estimated 7,200 per 100,000 residents past year to 7,500 per 100,000.

The report ranks Milwaukee County at No. 71 of the state's 72 counties for both its health outcomes and health factors. Since then, Forsyth has ranged from 22nd in 2011 to 43rd in 2016.

"What we're ultimately talking about is the access to opportunity in these counties, which can be governed by economic opportunity that leads to health outcomes".

Elsewhere in the region, Chesterfield County ranked 30th, Henrico County 33rd and Hanover County 16th.

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Physical environment (10 percent): air and water quality and housing and transit.

For health factors, Wake was second, Mecklenburg 11th, Durham 14th and Guilford 42nd.

The organization is looking closer at social and economic factors as indicators of health than in the last nine years, Jerome said.

This graphic from the RWJF report shows how racial differences exceed county differences in low birth weights nationwide.

For example, the county's teen birth rate of 15 births per 100,000 females between age 15 and 19 is far below the state's rate of 24, and matches the nation's "top performers".

Sussex ranks as the healthiest county in Delaware. That's higher than the national average at 71 percent and the highest in West Michigan.

The rankings say Wake County is the healthiest in North Carolina, followed by Orange, Camden, Union and Mecklenburg counties. The five counties in the poorest health, starting with least healthy, are Menominee, Milwaukee, Sawyer, Adams and Langlade counties.

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