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Farid: County's health 'not bad'

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Dr. S. Rahim Farid
While the overall health of Clay County residents isn't bad, County Health Officer Dr. S. Rahim Farid told The Brazil Times the numbers could improve.

A recent nationwide report by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute ranked all counties through all 50 states.

The rankings were based on "health factors" and "health outcomes."

According to the report, which was released this week, the "health factors" rankings were based on "weighted scores of four types of factors," including behavioral, clinical, social and economic and environmental.

The "health outcomes," according to the report, were based on "an equal weighting of mortality and morbidity measures."

Overall statistics appeared to have been taken between 2000-08.

Among the state rankings, Clay County was 69th in the "health outcomes" category and 81st in the "health factors" category.

Among the individual factors making up the "health factors" category, Clay County ranked 87th in health behaviors, 76th in clinical care, 57th in social and economic factors, and 15th in physical environment.

Among the categories making up "health outcomes," Clay County ranked 76th in mortality, and 56th in morbidity.

Dr. Farid told The Brazil Times while the numbers are "not bad," they can always improve.

"I think we have to work on it and see where our weaknesses are," he said. "This gives us our status of health and describes our health level.

"I'm happy, really. But I'd like for it to be lower."

Hamilton County, located in the central portion of the state, ranked as the healthiest county overall, while Scott County, in the state's southeast, ranked as the least healthy.

Regardless, Dr. Farid said he believed Clay County's numbers looked pretty good.

"That's not bad, really," he said. "It is not bad, our county health level."

Among the individual categories in "health factors," health behaviors looked at several factors, including smoking, obesity, binge drinking, motor vehicle crash death rate, etc., while clinical care included factors such as uninsured adults, primary care provider rate, diabetic screening, and more.

The social and economic factors included in the study were high school graduation and college degree rates, unemployment, children in poverty, single-parent households, among other items, while physical environment indicators included air pollution-particulate matter days, air pollution-ozone days, access to healthy foods and liquor store density.

Among the counties surrounding Clay, Putnam ranked 11th in health outcomes and 29th in health factors while Owen ranked 58th in health outcomes and 82nd in health factors.

Parke County ranked 73rd in health outcomes and 66th in health factors while Greene ranked 78th in outcomes and 69th in factors. Vigo County was also 69th in outcomes and 78th in factors and Sullivan County was 87th in outcomes and 72nd in factors.

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"not bad"? I guess it's all about what you are compared to. Yes compared to Haiti maybe we are doing great but compared to other communities in this country and even in Indiana, I would describe it more as Tribune Starr put it: Dismal.

I wonder what our teen pregnancy rate is in Clay County. That isn't even mentioned in this article. 41 out of every 1,000 teens in Vigo county gets pregnant....Another indication of how well people are taking care of themselves both physically and mentally.

No not doing too well at all.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Fri, Feb 19, 2010, at 3:41 PM

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