May 17, 2022

Art & Lifestyle:

St. Mary’s 8th Healthiest County in MD

Healthiest

St. Mary’s County ranks as the eighth healthiest county in Maryland, according to the annual County Health Rankings. This ranking remains constant from eighth in 2021.

The rankings were released April 27 by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

The County Health Rankings are an annual report that grade the overall health of nearly every county in the US. The rankings provide a snapshot of a community’s health and help to identify issues and implement solutions to create healthier places to live, learn, work and play.

In the 2022 rankings, the St. Mary’s value is trending worse for alcohol-impaired driving deaths and sexually transmitted infections and the county value is trending better for uninsured residents, dentist to patient ratio, preventable hospital stays, violent crime, and air pollution, according to a news release from the Healthy St. Mary’s Partnership. The data may lag based on availability at the time of the release of the rankings.

This year, residents can explore the St. Mary’s County snapshot to see seven new measures to support local data-to-action related to income, education, family and social support, and health outcomes.

The rankings allow for relative comparisons between counties within a state on health factors that influence the health of a county. These comparisons are based on an assessment of four areas that influence health: health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors, and the physical environment.

These factors are rated using local-level data from 30 measures that include smoking, education, physical inactivity, preventable hospitalizations, and the availability of primary care physicians.

The Maryland State Report calls attention to economic security including the childcare cost burden. Economic security enables families to cover basic needs such as housing, education, childcare, food, and medical care. Each of these needs has demonstrated ties to health; however, economic security is not equally accessible to all people.

Rates of adult smoking and obesity, alcohol-impaired driving deaths, preventable hospitalizations, and the ratios of residents to primary care physicians were areas where St. Mary’s County ranked low when compared to the other 23 Maryland counties.

Rates of physical inactivity, uninsured, children in poverty, and income inequality were areas where St. Mary’s County ranked high when compared to the other Maryland counties.

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