published Wednesday, March 30th, 2011

Grundy County near bottom in health rankings

by Emily Bregel


Grundy County narrowly avoided the distinction of the least healthy of Tennessee’s 95 counties, coming in at No. 94 in a second-annual national listing of counties by health status within their state.

Last year Grundy came in last place for Tennessee health outcomes in the rankings. The latest listing was released today by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The rankings factor in tobacco use, obesity levels, access to health care and healthy food, education, employment, safety and air quality, according to the foundation.

“Where we live, learn, work and play affect our health, and we need to use the information from the rankings to shine a spotlight on where we need to improve so we can take action to address our problems,” said Dr. Patrick Remington, director of the County Health Rankings project and associate dean for public health at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, a partner in the rankings.

Hamilton County was 25th healthiest Tennessee county this year, in the primary category of “health outcomes.” The county’s scores were significantly lower in the physical environment category, where the Hamilton County came in among the five worst in the state for factors including air pollution and access to healthy foods and recreational activities.

The No. 1 healthiest county in Tennessee was Williamson County and the least healthy was Benton County, according to the health outcomes rankings.

For complete details see tomorrow’s Chattanooga Times Free Press.

about Emily Bregel...

Health care reporter Emily Bregel has worked at the Chattanooga Times Free Press since July 2006. She previously covered banking and wrote for the Life section. Emily, a native of Baltimore, Md., earned a bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Columbia University. She received a first-place award for feature writing from the East Tennessee Society of Professional Journalists’ Golden Press Card Contest for a 2009 article about a boy with a congenital heart defect. She ...

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