Reports Cast Area's Health Rankings in Different Lights

Posted: March 30, 2014 at 5 a.m.

STAFF PHOTO JASON IVESTER Felipe Villagomez, left, and Roberto Estebane, both with Boulder Construction, spread dirt Friday around the edge of the Razorback Greenway near the crossing at Pleasant Grove Road in Rogers.

Benton and Washington counties own the title of healthiest in Arkansas, but it's akin to having a cold while everyone else fights the flu.

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The Reports

The 2014 County Health Rankings are a report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation is a health-focused philanthropy working to improve American’s health and health care.

The report ranks counties in each state based on 29 factors that influence health, including smoking, physical inactivity and access to healthy foods. This is the fifth year for the report and it included new measures this year, including housing, transportation and access to mental health providers.

Benton County has ranked first and Washington County second on all five reports.

The 2013 State of American Well-Being ranked 189 cities and Metropolitan Statistical Areas. The report is compiled by data and research firms Gallup and Healthways.

The study was based on more than 500,000 interviews with people asking about topics ranging from emotional and physical health and access to food to job satisfaction and community safety.

This was the well-being study’s sixth year.

Arkansas ranked 45th in 2013, up from 46th in 2012.

The Natural State ranked even lower in the 2013 America’s Health Ranking. Arkansas ranked 49th, only ahead of Mississippi, in the report compiled by the United Health Foundation, the American Public Health Association and Partnership for Prevention.

Source: Staff Report

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Northwest Arkansas

Benton and Washington counties scored low in recent health rankings in the category of clinic care. Benton County has one primary care physician per 1,820 residents. Washington County’s ratio was one per 1,322 residents. The national benchmark is one primary care physician for every 1,067 people.

A report released earlier this month by the state Department of Health identifies northeastern Benton County as a medically underserved area. The Health Services and Resources Administration defines underserved areas as a part of a county, whole county or group of nearby counties that have a shortage of personal health services.

Source: Staff Report

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