PORTLAND, Ore. (PORTLAND TRIBUNE) — Washington County is Oregon’s healthiest county and Klamath County is the least healthy county, according to new rankings released Wednesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.
The foundation’s eighth annual County Health Rankings provide a snapshot showing that where people live influences how well and how long they live. According to the rankings, good health is influenced by factors beyond medical care, including by housing, education, jobs and access to healthy foods.
Foundation officials said the rankings were based on factors such as diet and exercise, tobacco use, alcohol use, access to quality health care, employment, income levels, family and social support, education, community safety, transit and air and water quality. The foundation also looked at the number of premature deaths (people younger than 75) and drug overdoses across the state.
“The county health rankings show us that where people live plays a key role in how long and how well they live,” said Dr. Risa Lavizzo-Mourey, the foundation’s president and chief executive officer. “The rankings allow local leaders to clearly see and prioritize the challenges they face — whether it’s rising premature death rates or the growing drug overdose epidemic — so they can bring community leaders and residents together to find solutions.”
According to the rankings, the Top 10 healthiest counties in Oregon are:
- Hood River
Oregon’s five least-healthy counties, according to the rankings, are Klamath, Jefferson, Harney, Coos and Lake.
The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation of Princeton, New Jersey, has worked for decades to improve health and health care in the nation. It provides grants and funding for local health programs provided by hospitals, colleges and other health care organizations. In Oregon, the foundation has this year funded more than $10 million in 12 grants to organizations.
The University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute promotes health policies and practices across the nation. It also leads the work on the county health rankings and the foundation’s Culture of Health Prize.