Jackson County Improves in Health Factors

December 16, 2019

Harris Regional Hospital alongside Jackson County Department of Public Health and other key community organizations are happy to report improvements in health factors from 2016. In 2019, Jackson County is ranked 35th in health factors measured against the 100 counties in North Carolina, which is a significant improvement, moving the county up almost 30 spots in health factors (63rd in 2016). We are moving in a positive direction and we will continue to strive toward smaller numbers in relation to health factors and health rankings. The University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation produced the concept of county health rankings in 2010, which is considered a population health checkup across the nation. The health factors are based upon health behaviors, clinical care, social and economic factors, and physical environment.

Recent ranking of county health factors were as follows:

  • Health Behaviors – 50th in 2019; 60th in 2016
    • Includes adult smoking, adult obesity, physical inactivity, access to exercise opportunities, alcohol-impaired driving deaths, and more.
  • Clinical Care – 54th in 2019; 64th in 2016
    • Includes uninsured, primary care physicians, dentists, mental health providers, mammography screenings, and more
  • Social & Economic Factors – 34th in 2019; 48th in 2016
    • Includes high school graduation, unemployment, children in poverty, social associations, violent crime, and more.
  • Physical Environment – 8th in 2019; 87th in 2016
    • Includes air pollution-particulate matter, drinking water violations, severe housing problems, and more.

Harris Regional Hospital and Jackson County Department of Public Health recently completed respective community health assessments as well as community health improvement plans. Both plans are geared toward continuing community health improvement and making communities healthier.

“The Jackson County Department of Public Health looks forward to the continued improvement in the health status of Jackson County.  It is through the collaborations with agencies such as Harris Regional Hospital that we are able to make improvements for our community,” said Melissa McKnight, Deputy Health Director at Jackson County Department of Public Health 

“The annual health rankings are a great measure of how our counties are performing on health factors that contribute to quality of life and longevity. The rankings represent the impacts that can occur in the lives of those who live in our communities. We are honored to collaborate with multiple community partners on improving county health scores each year,” said Steve Heatherly, CEO of Harris Regional Hospital and Swain Community Hospital.

If you would like more information, please visit the full Community Health Assessment report on the Jackson County Department of Public Health website or the Harris Regional Hospital website at MyHarrisRegional.com