County Health Rankings say Johnson County is the healthiest in Kansas
Johnson County is the healthiest county in Kansas according to the annual County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, released Wednesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. The Rankings are available at www.countyhealthrankings.org.
“Johnson County is fortunate to have so many positive factors that influence health. These rankings will help guide the county’s work with community partners to improve health outcomes and eliminate unjust barriers to opportunity, so Johnson County continues to be a thriving place to live, work and raise a family,” says Charlie Hunt, interim director of the Johnson County Department of Health and Environment.
Johnson County ranked first in the state for quality of life (low number of poor physical or mental health days) and for health factors such as a low ratio of population to primary care physicians and dentists, a healthy food environment and adequate access to exercise opportunities (97% of people live close to a park or recreational facility). The county also has a lower number of teen births and uninsured individuals younger than 65 than other counties in the state.
This year’s Rankings also indicate that while the overall county numbers for premature death (years of potential life lost before 75), infant mortality rates and life expectancy exceed the national goal there are also substantial inequities by race/ethnicity. The life expectancy data show that American Indian/Alaska Native and Black population groups have significantly lower life expectancy than the White population (American Indian/Alaska Native = 73.0, Black = 76.4, White = 81.4).
There are gaps in health metrics that, when addressed, will not only ensure that these rankings can be sustained and improved, but more importantly, ensure that everyone in the community has equitable opportunities to live their healthiest lives.
Johnson County has several initiatives underway to address these and other issues in our community. For additional information, see Moving Health Forward in Johnson County.