Prevent, Promote, and Protect your Health with the Lake County General Health District
(440) 350-2543
5966 Heisley Rd
Mentor, Ohio 44060
April 03, 2017
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April 3, 2017

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                             CONTACT: Ron H. Graham, (440) 350-2543

March 31, 2017                                                                                         LAKE COUNTY GENERAL HEALTH DISTRICT

LAKE COUNTY CONTINUES TO RANK HIGH IN 2017 COUNTY HEALTH RANKINGS

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute released the seventh year of the County Health Rankings, a comprehensive report that ranks the overall health of nearly every county in all 50 states by using a standard way to measure how healthy people are and how long they live. Lake County General Health District (LCGHD) is pleased that Lake County continues to be in the top tier of Ohio counties for Health Outcomes and Health Factors.

This year’s Rankings continue to show that much of what affects health happens outside of the doctor’s office. Lake County comes in at 23rd, slipping slightly from 15th in 2016, in the state for health outcomes and rose from 13th to 10th for health factors. LCGHD Health Commissioner Ron H. Graham commented, “The change in rankings often come from changes in the criteria or health measures being studied from year-to-year. All of the rankings are relative to each other so that a county’s rank may move up or down even if all data stays the same for that county but other counties change.”

Change from one year to the next cannot always be measured; but for some measures, there are trend graphs showing change in measures over four or more years. Graham continued, “These rankings provide important information to help inform community leaders of the health factors, and their associated health outcomes so that we can collaborate to make the greatest impact on improving health across the public health system. The public health system is a very complicated web of private, nonprofit, and public agencies that often work in silos; but in Lake County everyone has worked very hard to create a system where we have coordinated the services provided by each of us.” When asked what this means for LCGHD next steps, Graham commented, “We need to really look at the data and see what the root causes of the problems are. We continue to see challenges in the area of violent crimes and sexually transmitted infections.”

The 2017 Rankings also demonstrate the role of personal behaviors and the impact on a person’s health. The details within the 2017 Rankings demonstrate that Lake County has improved in the areas of preventable hospital stays and air pollution (particulate matter). LCGHD applauds Lake Health for its efforts in improving in the area of preventable hospital stays. LCGHD takes pride in its Air Pollution Control Program under its Environmental Health Division. LCGHD contracts with Ohio Environmental Protection Agency as the local air agency for Lake and Geauga counties. Its responsibilities include conducting complaint investigations, ambient air monitoring, source inspections, and asbestos abatement inspections. It is also the local regulatory agency for asbestos activities which govern the removal, handling and disposal of asbestos related to renovation and demolition of buildings. LCGHD has ambient air monitoring networks at five locations throughout Lake and Geauga Counties. One of those sites monitor particulate matter of less than 10 microns (PM10) and another site monitors particulate matter of less than 2.5 microns (PM 2.5). LCGHD also works with the Ohio Department of Health to conduct routine sampling in and around the Perry Nuclear Power Plant to ensure that the local population is not being exposed to higher than background levels of radiation.

Using the Rankings Data

The County Health Rankings provide a snapshot of a community’s health and a starting point for investigating and discussing ways to improve health. This guide will help you find and understand the data – in this site and beyond – as you begin to assess your needs and resources, and focus on what’s important. The guide includes seven sections:

  • Communities Using the Rankings Data introduces the many ways communities are using the Rankings.
  • Exploring the Data helps you get the most out of the Rankings and the wealth of underlying data.
  • Making Use of Your Snapshot helps you navigate the information in your county’s snapshot and identify key areas where you may wish to look for additional data.
  • Digging Deeper helps you think through what other information would help you further understand the health of your community.
  • Broadening Your View helps you widen your focus beyond the specific measures included in the Rankings.
  • Visualizing the Data provides links to resources to help you visualize where the assets and weaknesses are in your community.
  • Finding More Data directs you to additional national and state data sources.

For more information on Lake County General Health District, visit our website at www.lcghd.org.

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Tim Snell
About the Author