Mahoning ranks low in Ohio health study | News, Sports, Work

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YOUNGSTOWN – Local health officials are educating the public on ways to improve the health and well-being of Mahoning County, which ranks among the top 25 percent of counties in Ohio for overall health.

A community health improvement plan is designed to set priorities, be a resource guide, and develop and implement projects, programs, and policies to address issues.

By 2020, Mahoning County was number 71 among Ohio’s 88 counties for overall health outcomes, according to county health rankings and guidelines. Trumbull County was number 76. 2021 data will be published soon.

Officials with the Mahoning County CHA / CHIP Team (Community Health Assessment and Planning) have conducted assessments since 2011 to measure community health status. The latest Mahoning County assessment included a written survey of adults and teens within the county, allowing the county to compare their health assessment data with national, state and local health trends.

The following priorities were selected in Mahoning County:

l Improving mental health and reducing substance abuse and addiction;

l Reduction of chronic diseases;

∫ Improving the health of mothers and babies;

∫ Improving economic and social issues that hinder health; AND

. Improving health equity.

Officials said that over the next three years, strategies and action steps will be implemented with the aim of improving the health and well-being of the population and creating lasting and sustainable change.

Officials stressed that health and well-being is not just the absence of disease, but is a state of physical, social and emotional well-being that occurs when the environment in which an individual lives, works and plays provides ample support and opportunities for good health.

HEALTHY FOOD / ACTIVE LIFE

Sarah Lowry, director of the Healthy Community Partnerships for Mahoning and Trumbull counties, said the goal is to address and improve health rankings in both counties by looking at different health factors, including length and quality of life, and with what chronic diseases face people.

“We have a focus on ‘Healthy Eating.’ Active Living. ‘ “One area of ​​focus will be removing any barriers to preventing people from eating healthy and being physically active. Being able to eat healthy and be physically active is key to mental and physical well-being,” Lowry said.

She said access to food for all residents is important – as is the physical location where people can get healthy food and affordability.

Farmers markets have proven to be an opportunity for this. Another is turning to small and local grocery store owners to offer healthier products and other foods, she said.

She said groups like ACTION are partners working to have mobile markets in Youngstown. There is also the possibility of SNAP being able to afford healthy meals with residents being given coupons.

“We will work with local organizations so that they have access to food while walking, cycling and using public transport,” she said.

Lowry said there is an effort to include physical activity in people’s daily routines, as well as include walking in community events like “Walk Youngstown,” a campaign that encourages people to walk during the day.

“As the weather warms, we want to encourage people to walk in their neighborhoods. We want to look at programs and events to provide opportunities for people to be out and active in their daily routines. “We want people to feel safe in parks and green spaces to walk,” Lowry said.

There are also bicycle event plans to encourage people to ride bikes in parks and other areas.

HEALTH RANKING PRIORITIES

Tracy Styka, community health education specialist for Mahoning County Public Health, said the agency has worked in five priority areas.

Styka said that during 2010 and 2011, the public health agency, in collaboration with more than 30 community partners, conducted a community health assessment and developed a plan to improve community health in three counties to lead the region in implementing strategies to improve health. of local inhabitants.

“We focus on improving the quality of life for people. We look at what people are experiencing in their neighborhoods and what challenges and obstacles they may face, such as whether they have transportation to go to healthy food, health care and doctors’ offices. “There is also the concern of people who can afford healthy eating,” Lowry said.

Lowry said she has looked at the county health rankings and said there are areas that need improvement.

Data is being collected from a public survey to update a strategic community health assessment plan to improve health outcomes.

Residents of Mahoning and Trumbull counties can help make the Valley healthier by completing the survey at www.mahoningtrumbullhealthsurvey.com. The results will help local health departments and partners identify key priorities to focus on over the next three years.

BY NUMBERS | Mahoning County Health Ranking

Mahoning County was ranked 71st among Ohio’s 88 counties in the 2020 health ranking report. Details:

• Population – 228,683

• Premature death – 9300

• Poor or fair health – 20 percent

• Lifespan – 76.4 years

• Child mortality – 60

• Infant mortality – 8

• Adult smoking – 23 percent

• Adult obesity – 33 percent

• Physical inactivity – 32 percent

• Access to exercise opportunities – 81 percent

• Excessive drinking – 17 percent

• Food insecurity – 15 percent

• Limited access to healthy foods – 11 percent

• Death from drug overdose – 48

• Death from a car accident – 9

• Primary care physicians – 960: 1

• Dentists – 1,390: 1

• Mental health providers – 270: 1

• Unemployment – 5.7 percent

• Children in poverty – 27 percent

• Children in single-parent families –

36 percent

• Violent Crimes – 279

• Average family income – $ 48,000

• Children eligible for free / reduced lunches – 40 percent

• Work-only driving – 85 percent

• Driving alone – 23 percent

SOURCE: County health ranking

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bcoupland@tribtoday.com

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