A brand-new County Health Rankings research study offers a thorough looktake a look at a variety of assets and liabilities that can affect the vitality of locals.

“It’s a good tool to recognize areas that might be improvedsurpassed in Northwest Georgia,” stated Logan Employer, spokesman for the Northwest Georgia Public Health district.

The report, released last week by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, analyzes the factors involved in six significant classifications: length of life, lifestyle, health habits, scientific care, social and financial aspects and physical environment.

Bartow County ranked greatest in the region– aside from Catoosa County in the severe north– and Gordon and Walker counties also registered much better health results than Floyd. Neighboring Polk and Chattooga counties scored lower, although mostthe majority of the lowest-ranking Georgia counties are in the southern part of the state.

Floyd County

Floyd County ranks 73 out of 159 Georgia counties in overall health outcomes.

It is the house of two significant health centers– Floyd Medical Center, Redmond Regional Medical Center– and Harbin Center and, naturally, ranks 21 in the category of scientific care.

However, the ranking is primarily based on the variety of primary care physicians per person, which is 810 to 1. That compares positively with the state’s ratio of 1,540 to 1. In other locations, such as the number of dental practitioners and preventable healthcare facility stays, it ranks even worse than the state average.

FMC Chief Medical Officer Dr. Joseph Biuso stated the hospital has instituted new procedures to decrease readmissions.

“We are truly working more to preventative care, like more check ups after being released from the health center,” stated Biuso.

Also, the ratio of mental health companies is 930 to 1, compared with 850 to 1 for Georgia and 370 to 1 amongst the top-performing counties nationally.

Floyd County’s most affordable rank, 88 out of 159 counties, is in its physical environment. Downgrades came from air quality– the amount of particulate matter, soot in the air– available housing options, and the 82 percent of individuals who drive alone to work. Statewide, 79 percent of employees drive alone.

Significant distinctions from the state averages likewise can be found in the variety of premature deaths– prior to age 75– violent crime and injury deaths.

An average of 75 people per 100,000 died from injuries each year between 2009 and 2013. Floyd County’s census population was approximated at 95,821 in 2013. Statewide, the injury death ratio was 58 people a year per 100,000.

The county had an average of 440 violent criminal activities per 100,000 people reported annually, compared to the statewide average of 385 per 100,000.

Adult obesity is on pattern with the state of Georgia, with both being at 29 percent, but public health officials are working to lower the number.

Employer stated NGPH is working to lower the rate of adult weight problems by starting with kids.

“Youth weight problems is among the programs were working on. We’re actually hitting it hard to combat it,” stated Manager.

Areas where residents are beating the state typical consist of drunk driving deaths– at 13 percent compared with a 24-percent state average– and sexually transmitted diseases. There was the equivalent of 362 cases of chlamydia per 100,000 individuals identified in 2013, but the state average was 515 per 100,000. The rate balanced 134 per 100,000 in top-level counties nationally.

Floyd also has a healthy variety of chances for social interactions, with 11 membership clubs per 10,000 people. The state average is 9.

Bartow County

Bartow County ranked No. 38 total, in keeping with the study’s findings that counties around metro Atlanta have better health outcomes in general.

Its least expensive rank, 98 out of 159 counties, can be found in the physical environment classification, with 84 percent of workers driving alone and 40 percent of them driving more than 30 minutes to work. Statewide, 39 percent of employees have long commutes.

The county ranked 66 in medical care, with a ratio of primary care physicians at 2,150 to 1 and mental health companies at 1,050 to 1. It likewise scored even worse than the state average for preventable hospital stays and the variety of dental professionals.

Avoidable healthcare facility stays are something that health care companies are dealing with improving, according to Biuso.

“It’s everything about quality metrics. Providing value over volume is the pattern for the majority of health care now,” stated Biuso.

Social and economic factors are where Bartow bests state averages, can be found in at No. 57. The percent of children living in poverty was at 21 percent compared with 26 percent across Georgia, and the violent criminal activity index was at 360 incidents per 100,000 individuals each year– listed below the state average of 385 per 100,000.

The county likewise ranks greater for real estate, with simply 16 percent of the population bothered by high costs, absence of plumbing or overcrowding. The state average is 18 percent. It’s likewise listed below the state average of 9 percent of children born with a low birth weight.

Chattooga County

Chattooga County ranked 99 for health results overall, but 107 from 159 counties in the variety of premature deaths before the age of 75.

It has a healthy number of social companies, 10.7 per 10,000 individuals, and the violent criminal offense rate is low at a ratio of 163 occurrences a year per 100,000 individuals. The county’s population was estimated at 25,138 in 2013.

Also, the rate of sexually transmitted diseases is about half the state average.

However, the ratio of deaths due to injuries is 94 per 100,000 each year, compared with 58 statewide.

The report shows an extreme shortage of primary care doctors based in Chattooga at 12,570 to 1, together with a lack of dental practitioners and mental health suppliers.

Twenty-eight percent of the children are residing in poverty, and simply 49 percent of the population has access to exercise opportunities compared to 75 percent across the state. The adult weight problems rate is 36 percent, compared to Georgia’s 29 percent and 25 percent for the top-performing counties in the country.

Polk County

Polk County ranked 118 from 159 for overall health outcomes.

The most considerable factor was in the area of life expectancy, where it ranked 147.

Every death happening before the age of 75 adds to the total number of years of prospective life lost. For example, a person dying at age 25 contributes 50 years to the computation.

In Polk, the ratio is at 11,100 years lost per 100,000 individuals compared with the state average of 7,300. Polk’s population was estimated at 41,183 in 2013.

Drunk driving represented 26 percent of the traffic fatalities, compared to 24 percent in Georgia in general. The ratio of deaths due to any type of injury was 85 per 100,000 people, and violent criminal offense was at 418 events per 100,000 compared with 59 in the top-performing counties nationally.

The ratio of mainmedical care physicians is 3,430 to 1 and the ratio of dental practitioners is 4,110 to 1– both reflecting about half the ease of access as the state average.

Among the locations where Polk County is enhancing is the portion of females who get mammogram screenings. The county is at 62 percent, which is on trend with the state average.

FMC Bust Center Director Aimee Griffin stated the facility has a mobile screening device that is taken all over Northwest Georgia, but especially in places that do not have a high volume of doctors, like Polk County.

“We recommend for females age 40 and as much as get a mammogram every year as well as a clinical test” she stated.

Countywide, 19 percent of the residents reported their health status as reasonable or bad, compared with 17 percent in the state.

The region

Catoosa County– essentially part of the Chattanooga, Tennessee, metro area– came in at No. 12 in Georgia for healthy outcomes. Amongst the aspects kept in mind were better access to healthy food and exercise opportunities in addition to a child-poverty rate of 19 percent compared with the state average of 26 percent.

Gordon County ranked 51, downgraded by the ratio of doctors, dental experts and mental health specialists to homeowners. Nevertheless, the reported kept in mind a lower portion of children living in single-parent households than the state average and a healthy number of social clubs to join.

Walker County ranked 69, with less drunk-driving deaths and sexually transmitted conditions than the state average and a lower percent of the population living in second-rate homes. The county lost points for the greater portion of adults who smoke, are overweight or physically non-active.

Employer said the County Health Rankings report is detailed, but ought to simply be considered “a picture” of the county in a provided moment.

“We use studies like these as helpful tools, but we knowwe understand they don’t constantly reveal precisely what’s going on,” said Employer.

The NWGPH is focusing hard this year on four locations; tobacco and cigarette smoking cessation, baby death rates, immunization rates and childhood obesity. Manager stated public health authorities feel pretty confident they are making a difference in the area.


out of 159 counties

Catoosa 12

Bartow 38

Gordon 51

Walker 69

Floyd 73

Chattooga 99

Polk 118

Source: 2016 County Health Rankings, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.