March 26, 2014

News Release

For Immediate Release

Health ranking improves for Springfield-Greene County

Greene County residents' health is improving year over year, the latest national rankings show.

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation released its annual ranking data for county and regional health departments today. The program is a joint effort with the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute.

That ranking moves Greene County up to 40th in the state of Missouri. The ranking in 2013 was 45.

"There's always more work to be done, but these results show that we have a community that is making good progress on these challenges," said Clay Goddard, the Assistant Director of Health for the Springfield-Greene County Health Department.

The ranking—which can be found at CountyHealthRankings.Org—is designed as a roadmap to better overall health for communities based on a variety of factors, ranging from adult smoking to access to health opportunities, the number of children in poverty to air pollution.

This year several factors were added to the overall ranking determination, including the level of difficulty with housing an individual might face, access to mental health providers, access to exercise opportunities and time spent commuting.

Some of the factors where Greene County saw improvement were in the number of preventable hospital stays, the number of people getting diabetic screenings and the rate of air pollution.

Some factors were worse than previous years, including the number of uninsured individuals, adult obesity and sexually transmitted infections.

While each county in Missouri serves a different and unique population with individualized health needs, the County Health Rankings provide one avenue of tracking progress on health matters.

For more information contact: Kathryn Wall, Public Information Administrator, Springfield-Greene County Health Department, 417-874-1205

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