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    Tarrant ranks in top quarter in health outcomes among texas counties

    Contact: Vanassa Joseph, Sr. Public Information Officer; 817-321-5306, cell: 817-401-5967

    vljoseph@tarrantcounty.com

    County Health Rankings Report ranks counties across the state, nation

    Tarrant County ranks in top quarter of Texas counties in health outcomes

    (Tarrant County, Texas) … Tarrant County ranked 24 in the state in health outcomes, which puts it in the top quarter among the 221 Texas counties that were ranked. This is the ranking according to the third annual County Health Rankings, released today by the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF). The County Health Rankings rank the overall health of nearly every county in all 50 states, using a standard way to measure how healthy people are and how long they live. Of the five most populous counties in Texas, Tarrant County had the second best ranking (behind Travis County) for both Health Outcomes and Health Factors.

    “While the overall health outcomes have improved each year since 2010 to 2012, going from 37 to 31 to 24, there is always more work that can be done to improve the health of Tarrant County’s residents,” said Tarrant County Public Health Director Lou Brewer. “Most recently, Tarrant County Public Health kicked off a community-driven process to prioritize public health issues and identify resources to address them. The process will use a strategic approach referred to as MAPP, which stands for Mobilizing for Action through Planning and Partnerships. The end result will yield a Community Health Improvement Plan.”

    Other Rankings data related to Tarrant County include:

    • Tarrant County ranked 64 overall for Health Factors, an improvement over last year’s ranking of 69.
    • Tarrant County placed in the top quarter for each of the mortality (ranked 29) and morbidity (ranked 46) indicators used to measure Health Outcomes and two of the Health Factors indicators (Health Behavior ranked 31 and Clinical Care ranked 38).
    • Tarrant County has improved its mortality indicator rankings each year (41 in 2010, 30 in 2011, and 29 in 2012), and improved its morbidity ranking from previous years (53 in 2010, 54 in 2011, and 46 in 2012).
    • Compared to last year, Tarrant County’s Health Behavior ranking improved (48 in 2011 to 31 in 2012); the county maintained its Clinical Care ranking (38 in both 2011 and 2012).
    • Tarrant County fared poorly in two of the other indicators used to assess Health Factors rankings – Social and Economic Factors (ranked 104), and Physical Environment (ranked 217).
      • Of the five most populous counties in Texas, Tarrant County ranked second for Social and Economic Factors and fourth for the Physical Environment.
      • It is important to note that four of the five most populous counties in Texas (excluding Travis County) were in the bottom of the rankings for Physical Environment – which measured the environmental quality and the built environment by taking into account air quality, access to healthy foods and recreational facilities, along with fast food restaurant density.

    The Rankings include a snapshot of each county in Texas with a color-coded map comparing each county’s overall health ranking. Researchers used five measures to assess the level of overall health or “health outcomes” for Texas by county: the rate of people dying before age 75, the percent of people who report being in fair or poor health, the numbers of days people report being in poor physical and poor mental health, and the rate of low-birthweight infants.

    The Rankings also consider factors that affect people’s health within four categories: health behavior, clinical care, social and economic factors, and physical environment. Among the many health factors they look at: rates of adult smoking, adult obesity, excessive drinking among adults, and teenage births; the number of uninsured under age 65, availability of primary care physicians, and preventable hospital stays; rates of high school graduation, adults who have attended some college, children in poverty; community safety; limited access to healthy foods; rates of physical inactivity; and air pollution levels.