March 25, 2019
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For More Information, Contact
Lorrie Andrew-Spear, VDH risk communications manager, 703-530-2627
(Warrenton, Va.) — The Rappahannock Rapidan Health District continually strives to understand the factors that influence the health of its residents and works with the community to provide residents the opportunity to be the healthiest they can possibly be. One of the tools the District uses to guide its efforts is population-based data from a variety of sources, such as the annual County Health Rankings. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (UWPHI) released it’s 2019 report earlier this month. The rankings are available at www.countyhealthrankings.org.
“We are dedicated to improving health in Culpeper, Fauquier, Madison, Orange and Rappahannock Counties,” said RRHD Director Dr. Wade Kartchner. “We hope that the information provided in the Health Rankings will spark conversations and encourage teamwork and partnership to address the health challenges and gaps highlighted in these findings.”
The rankings compare counties within states and show that where residents live can influence how well and how long they live. The 133 cities and counties in Virginia are ranked from best health to poorest health. Lower numbers indicate a better ranking. This year, the Health Outcomes (how healthy counties are within the state) rankings for the localities in the health district are Rappahannock: 12; Fauquier: 19; Culpeper: 41; Orange: 48; Madison: 52.
“While the overall rankings show that our area enjoys good health and opportunities, there are groups that suffer from social inequalities and poorer health,” said Population Health Coordinator April Achter. “Looking at the data deeper can reveal these inequities, showing differences in health outcomes by zip code and race/ethnicity.”
Some data trends from the Rankings include
- The high school graduation rate increased in all counties in the health district.
- The percentage of children under age 18 living in poverty decreased in Madison, Orange, and Rappahannock, and remained essentially the same in Culpeper and Fauquier.
- The percentage of adults that report a body mass index of 30 or greater ranges from 26% (Fauquier) to 35% (Orange). All counties except Rappahannock reported an increase in percentage of obese adults.
- The percentage of households with at least 1 of 4 housing problems (overcrowding, high housing costs, lack of kitchen facilities, or lack of plumbing facilities) is higher than the Virginia percentage in Culpeper and Madison.
- The percentage of driving deaths with alcohol involvement increased in Culpeper, Fauquier, Madison and Orange.
- The years of potential life lost before age 75 per 100,000 (age-adjusted) increased across the health district.
The Rankings, in conjunction with the state health improvement plan: the Virginia’s Plan for Well-Being, and local community health assessments, will help guide the health district’s work with partners in pinpointing problems, figuring out what to do improve, and working as a community to leverage resources to lift barriers to good health.
The County Health Rankings website also includes tools, and resources to help communities take action to improve health. To learn more, visit www.countyhealthrankings.org. For information on the Rappahannock Rapidan Health District, visit www.vdh.virginia.gov/rappahannock-rapidan.
About the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation
For more than 45 years the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation has worked to improve health and health care. We are working alongside others to build a national Culture of Health that provides everyone in America a fair and just opportunity for health and well-being. For more information, visit www.rwjf.org. Follow the Foundation on Twitter at www.rwjf.org/twitter or on Facebook at www.rwjf.org/facebook.
About the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute
The University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute advances health and well-being for all by developing and evaluating interventions and promoting evidence-based approaches to policy and practice at the local, state, and national levels. The Institute works across the full spectrum of factors that contribute to health. A focal point for health and health care dialogue within the University of Wisconsin-Madison and beyond, and a convener of stakeholders, the Institute promotes an exchange of expertise between those in academia and those in the policy and practice arena. The Institute leads the work on the County Health Rankings & Roadmaps and the RWJF Culture of Health Prize. For more information, visit http://uwphi.pophealth.wisc.edu.