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March 20, 2013

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  • Michelle Stoll, Public Information Officer (804) 864-7963

National 2013 County Health Rankings Show Where Virginia Localities Do Well, Provide Roadmap for Improvement

Richmond, Va. –The fourth annual County Health Rankings & Roadmaps, released today by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, indicates that Fairfax County has the healthiest residents in Virginia while the city of Petersburg ranks as the least healthy locality in the state.

According to the 2013 Rankings, the five healthiest localities in Virginia, starting with most healthy, are Fairfax County, followed by Loudoun, Arlington, Albemarle and York counties. The five localities in the poorest health, starting with least healthy, are the city of Petersburg, followed by Tazewell, Buchanan, Dickenson and Henry counties.

The County Health Rankings ranks the overall health of nearly every locality in all 50 states, using a standard method to measure how healthy people are and how long they live. Localities’ health were ranked on two sets of measures: health outcomes (length and quality of life); and weighted health factors [health behaviors (30%), access to and quality of clinical care (20%), social and economic factors (40%), and the physical environment (10%).]

“Public health and the health care community play an important role in leading the way to sustaining healthy communities,” said State Health Commissioner Cynthia C. Romero, MD, FAAFP. “But so much of what influences good health happens outside of the physician’s office. What we eat, the safety of our communities, how much family and social support we have and our level of education and understanding all influence our health and well-being.”

New this year, the 2013 Rankings includes data on access to dental care and drinking water safety in its evaluation of clinical care and physical environment.

“It takes the combined efforts of businesses, health care providers, government, consumers, local health departments and community leaders to create a healthier Commonwealth,” said Dr. Romero. “Using the Rankings & Roadmaps, together we can find ways and create opportunities to help Virginians live longer, healthier lives.”

To learn more about the Rankings, visit www.countyhealthrankings.org.


Last Updated: 03-20-2013

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