Report ranks St. Johns healthiest county in Florida
Group ranks Bradford, Columbia, Putnam, Union counties among least healthy
ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – For the third year in a row, St. Johns County was ranked the healthiest county in Florida in a national study.
The report released Wednesday placed Union County, north of Gainesville, as Florida's least healthy county, with Putnam, Baker and Hamilton counties also ranked near the bottom of the list. (Northeast Florida's county-by-county rankings at bottom of this article)
The report is put together by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.
The groups use 29 factors that influence health to come up with their rankings. Those factors include smoking, high school graduation rates, employment, physical activity and access to healthy foods.
Also included are length of life, quality of life, health behaviors such as drinking and teen births, clinical care, social and economic factors such as education and poverty, and physical environment such as air pollution levels.
St. Johns County ranked first in both health factors and health outcomes.
"As we track and measure health outcomes and factors related to health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors and the physical environment, we are reminded that there is no finish line in our efforts for better health," said Dr. Dawn Allicock, St. Johns County's health director. "Building and maintaining a culture of health requires the ongoing collaboration and combined efforts of a wide range of community partners from all sectors."
"These rankings really do go to show where you life does matter," added Brenda Fenech-Soler, of the Florida Department of Health in St. Johns County.
The study ranked Clay County seventh in health outcomes and 13th in health factors. Nassau County ranked 12th in health factors and 26th in outcomes. Alachua County ranked second in health factors and 17th in outcomes.
The only county in the area that declined was Baker, which went down two slots.
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