According to the annual County Health Rankings, released by The University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, Medina County is ranked 5th overall in Ohio for Health Outcomes and 4th for Health Factors.
The report’s focus in 2023 was on the connection between civic health (how well and how long people live) and thriving people and places. Two subcategories included health outcomes and health factors.
Health Outcomes tell us how long people live on average within a community, and how much physical and mental health people experience in a community while they are alive. Health Outcomes are influenced by many factors, such as clean water, affordable housing, the quality of medical care and the availability of good jobs.
Health Factors represent those things we can improve to live longer and healthier lives. They are indicators of the future health of our communities. No single factor determines an individual’s or community’s health. Instead, intersecting factors – from air and water quality to housing conditions – create overall health.
“The Rankings provide comparisons to other counties and the state of Ohio. This provides a starting point for our county to develop programs to continue to improve the health of our residents, regardless of our rank,” said Krista Wasowski, Medina County Health Commissioner. “Since the first County Rankings in 2010, Medina County has consistently ranked 5th or higher. Medina county residents have several protective factors that contribute to our stable ranking, such as education, employment, and income level.”
Medina County’s high ranking reflects the priority the county has placed on improving the factors that affect residents’ health, and it shows how important it will be to sustain those programs if we want to stay healthy. For the following areas – overall, Wasowski says we are doing better than the state and nation, but there are still areas to explore to become a top performer.
Areas that are better than state or national results:
· Food Environment Index: 8.5 out of 10 for access to healthy foods/food insecurity (6.8 Ohio; 7.0 US)
· Physical Inactivity: 22% of adults in Medina County reported participating in no physical activity outside of work (24% Ohio; 22% US)
· Access to exercise opportunities: 93% of Medina County residents lived close to a park or recreation facility (84% Ohio; 84% US)
· Teen births: In Medina County, there were 8 teen births per 1,000 females ages 15-19 (21 Ohio; 19 US)
· Uninsured: 6% of people under the age of 65 in Medina County did not have health insurance (8% Ohio; 10% US)
· Children in Poverty: 8% of children in Medina County lived in poverty (18% Ohio; 17% US)
· High School Completion: 95% of adults (age 25 and over) had a high school degree or equivalent (91% Ohio; 89% US)
· Unemployment: 4.3% of Medina County residents ages 16 and over were unemployed but seeking work (5.1% Ohio; 5.4% US)
Areas to Explore:
· Smoking: 18% of adults in Medina County are current cigarette smokers (22% Ohio; 16% US)
· Obesity: 36% of adults in Medina County are obese (36% Ohio; 32% US)
· Excessive Drinking: 22% of adults in Medina County report binge or heavy drinking (19% Ohio; 19% US)
· Social Associations: 8.7 member associations per 10,000 people (10.8 Ohio; 9.1 US)
The County Health Rankings make it clear that where you live influences how well and how long you live. We are working with local healthcare and government agencies, educational groups, faith-based organizations, and human service providers to set priorities and target resources.
The Medina County Health Department will continue to review all the measures to help identify areas that our programs and partnerships can have the greatest impact. We all have a role to play. Working together, we can make Medina County a Culture of Health in our communities.