Greene ranks 14th healthiest county


XENIA — Greene County ranked again as the 14th healthiest county in Ohio according to a new report by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (UWPHI) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF).

“Overall, Greene County’s ranking has been relatively steady in the past few years but that doesn’t mean entities and individuals don’t have work to do to improve health,” Greene County Public Health officials said in a release.

The report shows that Greene County has strengths in the area of health behaviors, where it ranked 10 out of 88. According to the ranking, percentages of behaviors in Greene County such as smoking, obesity, physical inactivity and teen births are lower than the state.

“This high ranking reflects the priority Greene County has placed on improving the factors that affect residents’ health, and it also shows how important it will be to sustain those programs if we want to stay healthy,” officials stated.

GCPH programs include tobacco and obesity prevention, Women, Infants and Children (WIC), Help Me Grow, and Early Intervention.

“The health district incorporates findings from the county health rankings to set health priorities for each strategic planning period. Our priorities were developed after we reviewed results and information from health assessments, standards, quality indicators, organizational performance, workforce development needs, job satisfaction, community/stakeholder surveys, and current trends in public health,” Health Commissioner Melissa Howell said. “We will be using health promotion and prevention strategies to reduce health inequity, address contributing factors for obesity and other chronic diseases, elevate awareness of maternal, child and infant health needs, enhance the use of data and information systems to research new insights into contributing factors of poor health outcomes, and invest in the development, communication and succession needs of the workforce, thereby reinforcing Greene County as a great place to be born, live, work and age.”

Officials said some factors, like obesity and smoking, still have a ways to go to meet the county’s goals. They also said the rates of sexually transmitted diseases and alcohol impaired driving also need further attention.

Residents can visit www.gcph.info to learn more about GCPH programs or countyhealthrankings.org to learn more about the rankings.