LABELLE, FL. -- The sixth annual nationwide county health rankings has been released by the University of Wisconsin and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and for many counties, especially the poorer and more rural ones, results are a mixture of good news and bad.
Hendry county's overall health rankings fell about in the middle of all Florida counties at number 30 of 67 counties, in what the report calls "Health Outcomes" which includes length of life and and quality of life. Glades county came in slightly higher at 25.
"Health Factors", including health behaviors, clinical care, and social and economics factor brought Hendry county to the bottom of the county list. DUI deaths, drinking, smoking, and obesity rang clear as problems in Hendry, while lack of doctors and dentists, and high amounts of the uninsured brought the county to the bottom.
On the bright side, the physical environment factors of Hendry and Glades county, including lack of air pollution, good drinking water, no long commutes to work, and lack of severe housing problems, brought Hendry to the top at number 3 in the state and Glades to number 2.
The top three counties overall in the state were reported as St. Johns, Collier, and Martin.
The Florida Department of Health and the local Hendry-Glades Health departments issued statements today saying:
“Health has no boundaries,” said Pat Dobbins, administrator and health officer of the Florida Department of Health in Hendry and Glades Counties. “This report reflects county level rankings, but we realize that to promote health and preventative care, it truly involves many partners including governmental agencies, educational departments, businesses, civic organizations, as well as private citizens in the community. This report helps our communities to see where we live, work, learn and play can have an effect on our overall health.”
"These rankings are a snapshot of the health of counties across the country and they emphasize that health is not a singular effort but a combined work in progress across all community partners. The department works in collaboration with local governments, non-profit organizations, health care facilities, business groups, schools, faith-based organizations and many other stakeholders to improve the health of all people in Hendry and Glades Counties. These rankings use data related to physical environments, social and economic factors, health behaviors and clinical care."