In a report released Wednesday, March 26, 2014, the County Health Rankings and Roadmaps program ranked Wake County the overall healthiest county in North Carolina for the fifth consecutive year. The program, a collaboration between the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, ranks more than 3,000 counties in all 50 states.
"I am thrilled for our county to receive this ranking for the fifth time," said Wake County Commissioner Joe Bryan. "As an avid runner myself, I know how important it is to live a healthy lifestyle and for the County to provide the right services to help our community lead healthier lives."
The rankings give counties a snapshot of how well they are doing with length and quality of life while measuring 29 factors that influence health. These factors include smoking, obesity, teen birth rates, high school graduation, access to clinical care, employment, physical inactivity, and access to healthy foods among others.
"We want to recognize all the partners and community leaders who are contributing to the many positive health indicators as well as to commend Wake residents for all they do as they strive to make healthier lifestyle choices" said Wake County Human Services Director Ramon Rojano.
This announcement comes shortly after the Wake County Board of Commissioners adopted a new goal in 2014 to become the healthiest capital county in the U.S. The Healthiest Capital County Initiative will bring together leaders in the private and public sectors to build opportunities for healthy lifestyles and better health outcomes for all Wake County residents.
"After several years of being ranked the healthiest county in the state, this new initiative seeks to raise the bar by entering into a friendly competition with other capital counties across the nation while ultimately improving health here in Wake County," said Commissioner Bryan. "While being ranked again as the healthiest county in North Carolina is wonderful news, we do not want to become complacent."
In conjunction with the County Commissioners and over 80 partners, the Healthiest Capital County Initiative will include strategies and opportunities for everyone to connect with needed services and to identify ways to improve their health.
The 2014 Rankings report is published online at www.countyhealthrankings.org, and includes the ability to download data and to compare counties within states. For more information about the Rankings or about the Healthiest Capital County Initiative, contact Ingrid Bou-Saada at 919-212-7511.