According to Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s 2018 County Health Rankings and Roadmaps report, Carbon County is ranked the fourth healthiest county overall Montana, out of 47 reporting counties. The Health Rankings measure the social, economic, physical, clinical and other factors that affect a population’s health and influence both length and quality of life outcomes. Carbon County has been ranked in the report’s top five for six of the last eight years of the study, which is completed annually in collaboration with the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health.
The study looks at data in both health outcomes and health factors. Health outcomes measure how long people live and how healthy they feel. Length of life is measured by premature death (years of potential life lost before age 75); quality of life is measured by self-reported health status (% of people reporting poor or fair health and the number of physically and mentally unhealthy days within the last 30 days) and the % of low birth weight newborns.
Carbon County ranked 16th in Montana in the health factors, which includes health behaviors (tobacco use, diet & exercise, alcohol & drug use, sexual activity), clinical care (access to care, quality of care), social and economic factors (education, employment, income, family & social support, community safety), and the physical environment (air & water quality, housing & transit). Visit http://www.countyhealthrankings.org/ to view the full report.
According to the report, communities that received higher rankings shared the following characteristics and areas of focus:
- Invest in education from early childhood through adulthood to boost employment and career prospects.
-Increase or supplement income and support asset development in low income households
-Ensure that everyone has adequate, affordable health care coverage and receives culturally competent services and care
-Foster social connections within communities and cultivate empowered and civically engaged youth
Roberta Cady, RN, Carbon County Public Health Nurse, explained “Community health takes all of us working together in so many areas. As the old adage states, ‘It takes a village’. This high County Health Ranking is a result of multiple partnerships throughout the county working toward a common goal of healthy, safe living for our residents. The report findings also present an opportunity to asses needed change to policies and systems to work toward a common goal of improved health and safety for all. I would like to congratulate our many partners in Carbon County who wash their hands, cover their cough, get their flu shot and immunize their children.”
Some of the Public Health partnerships for better health include:
Carbon County Fair Board – hand washing stations
Montana State Parks – Dry Boating campaign
Beartooth Market – disinfecting wipes for grocery carts
Carbon County DUI Task Force, Sheriff’s Office and Red Lodge Police Department – Buckle Up campaign assistance
Carbon County Schools – school vaccinations
Senior Citizens Centers – flu shot clinics
County Commissioners – diligence in supporting Public Health
Beartooth Billings Clinic – Trauma Services Department
Carbon County News – publishing public health news releases
Bridger Swimming Pool – Water Safety campaign
Red Lodge Drug – flu shot clinics
Bone Daddy’s – Safe Sex/STD Prevention campaign
Board of Health – support and cooperation