Ottawa County ranks 1st out of 83 counties in Michigan in Health Outcomes, according to the 2017 County Health Rankings www.countyhealthrankings.org. The Rankings, released every year by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute, show us that where we live matters to our health and that good health is influenced by many factors beyond medical care including jobs, housing, education, poverty and more. Ottawa County has maintained or improved in 71 percent of the 35 measures, and did as well or better than the State of Michigan in 86 percent of the 35 measures.
Ottawa County’s overall rank and sub-rankings have not changed much from 2016. Ranks can be influenced by new measures or a change in the methods for current measures. A rank may also improve or worsen not due to changes in Ottawa County’s measures, rather from changes in other counties that experienced health gains or losses.
Ottawa County Strengths
- Lower overall mortality
- Lower adult smoking
- Lower teen birth rate
- Lower physical inactivity
- Lower unemployment
- Lower injury deaths
Ottawa County Opportunities for Improvement
- Adult obesity (28% Ottawa County compared to 26% top U.S. performers)
- Excessive drinking (21% Ottawa County compared to 12% top U.S. performers)
- Sexually transmitted infections (chlamydia is the highest reportable disease in Ottawa County)
- Ratio of population to primary care physicians, dentists and mental health providers
- Physical Environment continues to be the lowest sub-ranking (as a result of higher housing costs and long commute/driving alone)
“The County Health Rankings show how the Ottawa County community works together to improve health outcomes. This is evident in the Community Health Improvement Planwe’ve been implementing and making much progress,” said Kristina Wieghmink, Ottawa County Department of Public Health spokeswoman.
“For example, the Ottawa Pathways to Better Health program was created to assist people with accessing community services to improve health outcomes.”