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Report Calls Carver Healthiest County in Minnesota for Fifth Year

Post Date:03/31/2017 10:42 AM

Report Calls Carver Healthiest County in Minnesota for Fifth Year

2017 County Health Rankings Report Released

Carver County ranks first in health outcomes and second in health factors according to 2017 County Health Rankings report, released today by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (UWPHI). This is the fifth consecutive year Carver County has ranked first in health outcomes among all Minnesota counties.  

Health outcomes include five measures that describe what today’s health is like, including quality of life and length of life. Health factors include 30 measures that can describe the future health of the county’s residents. Health factor measures in the Rankings report include health behaviors, clinical care, physical environment, and social and economic factors.     

An easy-to-use snapshot that compares counties within states, the Rankings show that where you live influences how well and how long you live. The local level data makes it clear that good health is influenced by many factors beyond medical care including housing, education, jobs, access to healthy foods, and more.  

In addition to showing areas of strength, the County Health Rankings identify opportunities to improve the health of the community. The Rankings report reveals a lack of dental and mental health providers to serve the county’s population. There is one dentist for every 2,350 residents. This is a 60% greater patient population per dentist (in Carver County) than the state average. While oral care is important in the prevention of cavities, poor oral health may contribute to some diseases and conditions, such as cardiovascular disease and premature birth.

Currently there is one mental health provider for every 910 residents; an 80% greater patient population per mental health provider (in Carver County) than the state average. Mental health providers are practitioners that treat mental illnesses. A mental illness is a medical condition disrupting a person’s thinking, feeling, mood, ability to relate to others, and daily functioning. One in four people will develop a mental illness in their lifetime, and most mental illnesses can be treated effectively with medication, therapy, diet, exercise and support. Common conditions include anxiety disorders, ADD/ADHD, depression, eating disorders, and post-traumatic stress disorder.  

This year’s Rankings also show that one in four (26%) adults reports binge or heavy drinking in the past 30 days. This is defined as excessive drinking, and Carver County rates have been higher than the state average for several years. In an effort to curb excessive drinking, Public Health offers Responsible Beverage Server Trainings to organizations and businesses that will be serving alcohol to the public. Additionally, in 2016 Carver County Public Health launched its Family-Friendly Festival initiative, which includes education and training on responsible serving of alcohol.

Carver County uses a variety of methods to assess and measure the health of Carver County communities. The County Health Rankings is one tool used to start a dialogue with all community sectors – including government, business, education, community and health care – to improve the health and wellbeing of Carver County residents. The Rankings show us that where we live, learn, work, and play matters to health.     

Carver County Public Health works to promote and protect the health of all of our residents, in order to make Carver County a place to live for a lifetime of good health.

The detailed 2017 County Health Rankings report is available at www.countyhealthrankings.org.
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