Tuesday, April 3, 2012

“A really incredible culture of health”

The 2012 County Health Rankings report shows that folks who live in the San Juan Islands are relatively healthier than those living in Yakima. But even those living in Yakima are healthier than 90 percent of the nation in certain areas. And in the areas where Yakima ranks considerably below the best counties in the nation, its rankings are nonetheless higher than those in many other states.

In fact, Angela Russell, an associate researcher at the University of Wisconsin said that "Overall, it seems like Washington ... has created a really incredible culture of health."

Could this have something to do with the state’s highly successful Basic Health Plan, which has served as a model for similar programs in other states? Or perhaps with Apple Health for Kids, another state program, to cover all Washington children? Hmmm… food for thought.

But back to the report, the five healthiest counties in Washington are San Juan, Kittitas, Island, Whitman and Whatcom. The five counties in poorest health are Ferry, Wahkiakum, Okanogan, Grays Harbor and Mason.

Even though we’re doing quite well, Mary Selecky, Washington Health Secretary, believes we shouldn’t rest on our laurels. She said we still have to work on quitting smoking, losing weight and maintaining healthy cholesterol levels.

There’s always room for improvement, we know that, but our ear to ear smile from having heard that we have created an incredible culture of health won’t be vanishing anytime soon.

To learn more, read the Associated Press story here.

To read this post in Spanish, click here.