TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

Local News

April 1, 2013

Health officials want change for the better

Whitley, Knox, Laurel ranked against other Ky. counties

CORBIN — By John Ross / Staff Writer

The statistics are out — and Whitley, Knox and Laurel counties have been comparatively ranked against Kentucky’s other 117 counties concerning healthy living.

The County Health Rankings & Roadmaps program is a collaborative effort between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

According to the website (www.countyhealthrankings.org), “We know that much of what influences our health happens outside of the doctor’s office — in our schools, workplaces and neighborhoods.

County Health Rankings & Roadmaps help communities create solutions that make it easier for people to be healthy in their own communities, focusing on specific factors that we know affect health, such as education and income. Having health insurance and quality health care are important to our health, but we need leadership and action beyond health care.”

Laurel County was the highest ranked of the three counties — they are number 64 out of 120.

Whitley and Knox counties were ranked much worse — numbers 96 and 98, respectively, out of 120.

“Ranking the health of nearly every county in the nation, the County Health Rankings illustrate what we know when it comes to what’s making people sick or healthy,” the website states. “The County Health Roadmaps show what we can do to create healthier places to live, learn, work and play.”

There are two ultimate goals of this county-by-county, state-by-state health ranking system — to show where communities are in terms of current health, and to show ways to improve the health of each county resident.

The website states that “County Health Rankings show the rank of the health of nearly every county in the nation and illustrate that much of what affects health occurs outside of the doctor’s office.”

According to the website, the rankings help counties understand what influences residents’ health and longevity.

Several measures determine rankings, including the rate of people dying before age 75, high school graduation rates, unemployment, limited access to healthy foods, air and water quality, income, and rates of smoking, obesity and teen births.

The path to better health in communities is called the County Health Roadmap.

According to the website, the Roadmaps help communities bring people together from all walks of life to look at the many factors that influence health, focus on strategies that work, learn from other communities, and make changes that will have a lasting impact on health.

When comparing Knox, Laurel and Whitley counties, there are some significant details.

Health outcomes are the actual rankings of each county, which was mentioned earlier in this story.

There are several categories which are reviewed and ranked, and some rankings may differ from overall rankings.

The first category listed is mortality, specifically, premature deaths.

The report considers premature death any person who passes before hitting age 75.

The state’s overall average is 8,768 persons per 100,000 people.

Knox County fared the worst of the three counties at 12,369. Whitley was a close second with 11,488 premature deaths. Laurel County, between the three, fared the best, with 9,313.

However, those numbers, when compared with the other Kentucky counties, change the rankings of each county. With premature deaths, Knox County is 100 out of 120, Whitley remains the same, and Laurel County is 53 out of 120.

Morbidity rates are also compared, which is the quality of life for residents of each county.

Knox County does a bit better on this statewide comparison, ranking 93 out of 120.

Whitley and Laurel counties, on the other hand, fared a bit worse – 99 out of 120 for Whitley, and 67 out of 120 for Laurel.

The final number comes from those two rates, but there are other comparative factors stepping into play.

Also reviewed are the various health factors which directly affect the health outcomes. That includes behaviors, clinical care, socioeconomic factors, and the physical environment.

Whitley County saw a dramatic rank increase in health factors as compared to the other 119 counties – number 71.

Knox County ranked a bit worse in this category – number 106 of 120.

Laurel County was also ranked worse – number 79 out of 120.

One health factor, behavior, entails several characteristics, including smoking, obesity, physical inactivity, excessive drinking, fatal car crashes, sexually-transmitted diseases and the teenage birth rate. Each county received a rank in this category – Knox came in at 97; Laurel was 92; and Whitley was ranked a bit higher at 64.

A second health factor reviewed is availability to clinical care within the county borders. This reviews the number of uninsured residents, primary care physicians, dentists, preventative hospital stays, and diabetic and mammography screenings. Whitley County was ranked high on this comparative review – 30 out of 120. Laurel was ranked number 58, while Knox County was number 86.

The third health factor includes several contributors to healthy living, including education, unemployment rates, the number of children in poverty, the numbers of residents receiving inadequate social support, the number of children living in single-parent households, and the violent crime rate. Laurel County ranks 80 out of 120 on this health factor, while Whitley County ranks 87 and Knox ranks 108.

Finally, the last health factor review is the physical environment. That looks at several contributing factors, including the safety and availability of healthy drinking water, access to recreational facilities, access to healthy foods and the number of fast food restaurants. Whitley was the worst of the three counties comparatively – number 102 of 120. Knox County fared better, ranking number 89 out of 120. Laurel County was much higher on the list, 51 out of 120.

This is the fourth year of the rankings, which are available online at www.countyhealthrankings.org. Data from these rankings can help lay the groundwork for counties to improve the health of their citizens, not only through health professionals but governors, mayors, judge/executives, magistrates, business leaders, and the residents themselves.

COUNTY HEALTH RANKINGS (OUT OF 120)

                                              KNOX    LAUREL    WHITLEY

Health Outcomes                    98            64               96

Mortality                                100            53               96

Morbidity                                 93            67               99

Health Factors                       106           79               71

Health Behaviors                     97           92               64

Clinical Care                            86           58               30

Social/Economic Factors       108           80               87

Physical Environment              89           51             102

Information courtesy www.countyhealthrankings.org

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 18 arrested in drug roundup

    An 11-month long investigation into illegal drug activity resulted in 18 arrests Tuesday, according to Kentucky State Police Trooper Lloyd Cochran.

    July 30, 2014

  • Suspect wanted for assault

    Whitley County Sheriff’s deputies continue their search for a suspect wanted for first-degree assault after he allegedly intentionally struck a woman with his vehicle while she was walking Tuesday — and then simply drove away.

    July 30, 2014

  • Laurel service station robbed

    A Laurel County service station was robbed Tuesday and a station employee is the suspected robber, according to Laurel County Sheriff John Root.

    July 30, 2014

  • Arrest warrant issued for 1 of 2 charged in I-75 multi-vehicle crashes

    An arrest warrant has been issued for one of two defendants charged in several 2012 multi-vehicle crashes on I-75, which caused multiple injuries.

    July 30, 2014

  • Corbin Board of Education approves improvement plan for St. Camillus site

    A big step was taken Tuesday by the Corbin Board of Education, in purchasing property and making improvements to the former Saint Camillus Academy site.

    July 30, 2014

  • TODAY'S HEADLINES — July 30, 2014

    18 arrested in drug roundup

    Suspect wanted for assault

    Laurel service station robbed

    Arrest warrant issued for 1 of 2 charged in I-75 multi-vehicle crashes

    Corbin Board of Education approves improvement plan for St. Camillus site
     

    July 30, 2014

  • I-75 lane closures Wednesday

    A reminder if you’ll be traveling on I-75 in Laurel County Wednesday — the state Transportation Cabinet (KYTC) plans to restrict northbound and southbound traffic to one lane just north of exit 29.

    July 30, 2014

  • 0729 John Waite for web.jpg John Waite to perform at NIBROC

    Grammy nominated singer John Waite has joined the 2014 NIBROC musical lineup.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0729 gray crash for web.jpg U.S. 25E intersection site of Monday crash

    A woman was transported to Baptist Health Corbin Monday following a crash at the U.S. 25E and KY-233 intersection, according to Kentucky State Police Post 10 Public Information Officer Shane Jacobs.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo

  • Laurel School nurses to stay

    The Laurel County School System will keep its school nurses for the 2014-2015 school year.

    July 29, 2014

Front page
Featured Ads
AP Video
Texas Scientists Study Ebola Virus Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow Southern Accent Reduction Class Cancelled in TN Raw: Deadly Landslide Hits Indian Village Obama Chides House GOP for Pursuing Lawsuit New Bill Aims to Curb Sexual Assault on Campus Russia Counts Cost of New US, EU Sanctions 3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand Six PA Cops Indicted for Robbing Drug Dealers Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways Raw: Thousands Flocking to German Crop Circle At Least 20 Chikungunya Cases in New Jersey Raw: Obama Eats Ribs in Kansas City In Virginia, the Rise of a New Space Coast Raw: Otters Enjoy Water Slides at Japan Zoo NCAA Settles Head-injury Suit, Will Change Rules Raw: Amphibious Landing Practice in Hawaii Raw: Weapons Fire Hits UN School in Gaza Raw: Rocket Launches Into Space With Cargo Ship Broken Water Main Floods UCLA
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter