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Thursday, May 30, 2013

Scioto County Roadmap to Premature Death

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Ohio National

(of 88)
Health Outcomes  87
Mortality  88
Premature death 11,262 10,417-12,107 7,513 5,466  
Morbidity  87
Poor or fair health 26% 20-35% 15% 10%  
Poor physical health days 7.1 5.2-9.0 3.6 2.6  
Poor mental health days 6.2 4.2-8.1 3.8 2.3  
Low birthweight 9.7% 9.0-10.4% 8.6% 6.0%  
Health Factors  88
Health Behaviors  87
Adult smoking
28-45% 22% 14%  
Adult obesity
28-40% 30% 25%  
Physical inactivity 31% 26-37% 27% 21%  
Excessive drinking 12% 8-18% 17% 8%  
Motor vehicle crash death rate 19 16-23 12 12  
Sexually transmitted infections 262 420 84  
Teen birth rate
58-65 40 22  
Clinical Care  83
Uninsured 15% 14-17% 14% 11%  
Primary care physicians 2,124:1 1,101:1 945:1

Preventable hospital stays 112 105-118 78 49  
Diabetic screening 78% 74-82% 83% 89%  
Mammography screening 59% 54-64% 66% 74%  
Social & Economic Factors  81
High school graduation 89% 78%  
Some college 46% 42-49% 60% 68%  
Unemployment 12.8% 10.1% 5.4%  
Children in poverty
24-40% 23% 13%  
Inadequate social support 27% 20-37% 20% 14%  
Children in single-parent households 31% 27-35% 33% 20%  
Violent crime rate 235 360 73  
Physical Environment  63
Air pollution-particulate matter days 2 2 0  
Air pollution-ozone days 0 6 0  
Access to recreational facilities 3 10 16  
Limited access to healthy foods 1% 7% 0%  
Fast food restaurants 60% 55% 25%


* 90th percentile, i.e., only 10% are better.

Note: Blank values reflect unreliable or missing data

Ohio is comprised of 88 counties. The information above represents the latest statistics (2012) on county health rankings. As you can see, Scioto is a very unhealthy county. It ranks dead last in state mortality rates and health factors (88th of all 88 counties). Also, Scioto does little better in health outcomes, morbidity, and health behaviors ranking next to last (87th of all 88 counties) in these important categories.

Scioto County health statistics highlighted in red represent figures that fall short of Ohio county averages and the National Benchmark. The gold highlights figures that fall below either Ohio county averages or the National Benchmark. The county scores well in "air pollution particulate matter days" and in "air pollution-ozone days." Scioto ranks well above other Ohio counties in the percentage of high school graduate.

The Scioto County Health Coalition has been formed as an umbrella group meant to bridge the gap between all the Scioto County citizens, government agencies, private sector businesses and non-governmental organizations, for the purpose of addressing Scioto County’s ranking 87/88 in health outcomes and 88/88 in health factors.

The coalition is organized around the concept of a super coalition meeting the second Friday of every month.  The day consists of 6 workshops: 

* The Wellness Committee, 
* The Medical/Clinical Committee, 
* The Planning Committee (Community Development), 
* The Code Enforcement Taskforce, 
* The Land Re-utilization Committee (Economic Development), and 
* The Scioto County Drug Action Team Alliance. 

Anyone can attend one or more of the work groups according to their interests.  Work groups do not have official members; this is a coalition of everyone interested in improving the health of all Scioto County citizens.  The coalition philosophy is work oriented, informal, and transparent. The coalition has a non competitive, optimistic atmosphere. It maintains a county-wide focus and is managed by evidence-based objectives.

Here is the Scioto Coalition website:

My Take

The population of Scioto County is 76,334 with that of Ohio at 11,542,645. Here are some other factors that influence health outcomes:

 Social and Economic Factors

Median Household Income:                   Scioto $35,860        Ohio $45,151

Children Eligible For Free Lunch:         Scioto 50%             Ohio 30%

Illiteracy:                                                Scioto 10.8%          Ohio 9.1%

 Health Care

Mental Health Providers:                       Scioto 6,371:1        Ohio  2,501:1

Health Care Costs:                                 Scioto $12,960       Ohio $9,903

Could Not See Doctor Due To Cost:     Scioto 28%             Ohio13%

All citizens must contribute to efforts to change these horrific conditions. There is no reason that the people in Scioto County should continue to be inattentive and/or inactive. We must focus our work on the areas that clearly mark us as an unhealthy populace. Gaining knowledge is the first step toward individual and group improvement. And, believe me, there is a lot to learn.

I urge you to become a part of the Scioto County Health Coalition. Let me remind you again that meetings are all day on the second Friday of every month. Click on the link above to access the coalition.

Just as important, we must take the initiative to improve our own health and do what we can to improve our own individual unhealthy bodies. This is no easy task with so many unhealthy conditions in our midst. If we use the method of "divide and conquer," we each can choose a course of action that will enable us to have direct impact on the total health of Scioto County. Each individual improvement will better the statistics.

Just one more suggestion, please. Let's put extra effort into raising healthy children. I think these measures would reap benefits: 

* Mandatory PE in all classes (K-12) 
* Scores of good adult role models who decide to give up smoking
* Less fast food meals even though kids are involved and active, often missing home mealtimes
* More mental health screening and counseling for all students
* Mandatory, evidence-based prescription drug education (K-12)
* Access to contraceptives and open discussions about adolescent sexual behavior
* Strong measures to combat sleep deprivation and school absence
* Programs to increase understanding and appreciation of Appalachian history and positive, simple values


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