For Hometown News
INDIAN RIVER COUNTY -- For the fourth year, the health of the residents of Indian River County has been evaluated by an independent source, and this year the county ranked 15th in the state for its quality of overall health. St. Johns County ranked first. Last year, the county had ranked 11th place overall.
"As we track our progress, we are reminded that there is no finish line in our efforts for better health across all the counties," said Dr. John Armstrong, surgeon general and secretary of health for the state.
The report looked at outcomes that occurred over the year, such as premature death, low birthweight and what percentage of people were currently in poor mental or physical health.
The report even included health factors such as number of smokers, adult obesity and physical inactivity.
The results indicated that Indian River County increased in the number of residents in poor health.
The data was compiled by the University of Wisconsin and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation. The Florida Department of Health uses the data to create an improvement plan used by the county's health departments as well as other state agencies and businesses.
"The Community Health Assessment process gives each of Florida's counties the opportunity to address important health improvement," said Dean Donna Petersen, with the College of Public Health at the University of South Florida.
"Our vision is clear: Florida will be the healthiest state in the nation," said Dr. Armstrong.
St. Lucie County ranked 22nd, while Brevard County came in at 26th. The full report can be found online at www.countyhealthrankings.org.