By Tyler Roebuck
WHITLEY COUNTY— A study recently released by County Health Rankings named Whitley County the 7th healthiest county in the state for 2016.
County Health Rankings is a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation program.
Environmental Health Specialist Scott Wagner is happy with the result.
“We’re pleased with last year’s and even though this year’s is lower, the change was less than 5 percent,” he said.
The 2017 study, while still in the works, is projecting Whitley County as the 12th healthiest.
The County has a number of programs that help boost the numbers, all available through the Health Department, such as the Healthy Start program which encourages and educates mothers on the dangers of smoking while pregnant or with infants.
“We have nutritional programs and vaccinations that help,” Wagner said. “Then we do a lot of preventative measures like placement of wells and maintenance of sewer systems that help too.”
The study considers physical and mental health, birth weight, smoking, obesity, food access to healthy food, physical inactivity, excessive drinking, alcohol-impaired driving deaths, sexually transmitted infections, teen births, excessive drinking, uninsured residents, number of physicians, dentists and mental health providers, education, unemployment, single-parent households, income inequality, children in poverty, violent crime, air pollution and drinking water factors.