LAS VEGAS (KXNT) – The 2018 County Health Rankings, released Wednesday by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute (UWPHI), ranks Clark County as the 10th healthiest county in Nevada, down from 6th in last year’s ranking. the full report is available at http://www.countyhealthrankings.org. The Southern Nevada Health District presented findings for Clark County at a community event Wednesday along with representatives from the Nevada Division of Public and Behavioral Health and State Senator Pat Spearman.
As easy-to-use snapshot that compares counties within states, the Rankings show that where you live influences how well and how long you live. The local-level data make it clear that good health is influenced by many factors beyond medical care including housing, education, and jobs. This year’s new Rankings State Report show meaningful gaps in health persist not only by place, but also by race and ethnicity. Looking at differences by place and race offers a more complete picture of health. This year’s analyses show that lack of opportunity, such as education jobs, and affordable housing, disproportionately affects people of color across the nation and within Nevada.
“The data provided by the Rankings provides us with valuable information we use to assure our existing policies and programs align with the identified needs of our community. Using this same information, we are also able to identify new areas of need and direct our resources as appropriate,” said Dr. Joe Iser, Chief Health Officer of the Southern Nevada Health District.
The Rankings call attention to opportunities to improve the health of the community and serve as a call-to-action. The Health District is working with its governing board, the Southern Nevada Health District Board of Health, and community partners on a number of programs and initiatives that impact areas addressed by the Rankings. These programs and projects include enhancing its clinical services to include primary care at certain locations, partnering with rural communities to provide dental services, providing more accessible immunization services with its new mobile clinic, partnering with the school district to provide fitness and nutrition programs, providing youth tobacco control advocacy programs, and enhancing voluntary smoke-free tobacco programs at work sites and organizations.
“These findings demonstrate the need to invest more resources into raising the health status of our communities,” Dr. Iser said. “There are persistent health gaps that exist based on a range of factors. We cannot fully address any one issue without addressing the full range of challenges that keep people from leading healthy lives,” Iser added.