Fulton County Remains in Top Quarter of Health Study | Print |

Fulton County remains in the top quarter of Georgia counties on overall health outcomes and health factors according to the 2011 County Health Rankings report released by the University of Wisconsin and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Project. 

These Health Rankings are categorized into two areas, health outcomes and health factors.  Health outcomes represent how healthy the county is while health factors measures what influences the health of the county. Fulton County’s overall health ranking was 26 out of 156 counties for health outcomes.

The overall ranking for Health Factors is 13. Health Behavior factors such as smoking, obesity, education, crime, and unemployment rates were rated.  In comparison to two other metro counties, Gwinnett and DeKalb, Fulton ranked No. 4.   Gwinnett was 6th and DeKalb was 8th.

The County Health Rankings report is a useful tool for policy development, programmatic planning and educating communities about the significant impact disparities have on the health status of the entire state.  Dr. Harris adds, “Achieving health equity throughout all communities is one strategic way to improve the county’s overall health status.”

The three Metro counties, Fulton, DeKalb and Gwinnett, did not fare well in the area that measured environmental quality, which includes air quality and traffic congestion. Fulton County’s ranking for Physical Environment improved over the previous year.  One strategy the Fulton County Board of Commissioners used to address this issue was to implement a No Idling Policy for county owned and operated vehicles to limit idling to no more than 15 minutes except in response to emergency situations.

Fulton County’s Division of Health Promotion is addressing the county’s smoking policy and its effects on residents, offering exercise and nutrition courses to address obesity in children and adults and offering numerous educational courses covering chronic diseases such as diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, and cancer prevention.

“We take the rankings and its findings as a way for us to introduce health considerations in the development of policies that can have a direct impact on our activities,” states Dr. Harris.  “With this knowledge, we can continue to take steps to improving the health of our residents.”

The County Health Rankings reports the overall health of every county in the United States.  The report findings provide public health and community leaders, policy-makers, consumers and advocates with an overview of how healthy a county is in comparison to others within the state.  In Georgia, 156 counties were included in the study.  Three counties, Echols, Webster and Taliaferro, were excluded because they were too small to provide reliable results.

For more information about the County Health Rankings report, visit www.countyhealthrankings.org. For more information about Fulton County Division of Health Promotion, call (404)730-1343 or log on to www.fultoncountygahealth.org.